Heatstroke often occurs rapidly, resulting in unconsciousness within a few minutes, although there is sometimes a warning period when the casualty may complain of feeling unwell or strange. It occurs when the brain's 'thermostat' fails as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperature in the surroundings or of illness with high fever.
Symptoms of heatstroke
1. Dizziness, headache, discomfort, unease and confusion.
2. The skin will feel hot and dry and appear flushed.
3. The pulse will be fast and strong.
4. The casualty may collapse and become unconscious.
Treatment of heatstroke
1. Remove the casualty quickly to a cool place and remove the outer clothing. Summon medical help immediately.
2. Wrap the casualty in a sheet and keep it wet until the oral temperature falls to 38°C (IOOAOF).
3. When the temperature has returned to a safe level, remove the wet sheet and substitute it with a dry one. Keep a close watch on the casualty, and be prepared to repeat step 2 if the temperature rises again.
4. If the casualty becomes unconscious, place him or her in the- recovery position and be prepared to resuscitate. Call an ambulance immediately