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Heat Exhaustion - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide

Last Updated on Jul 22, 2012
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Overview

  • Heat exhaustion is a heat - related disorder
  • Here, loss of fluids takes place
  • This decreases blood flow to vital organs, leading to shock
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Causes

  • Heat exhaustion caused by excessive heat
  • Increased by overexertion / sweating / hot, humid climate

Risk Factors

  • Poor circulation
  • Recurrent Illness
  • Medications like diuretics / laxatives / anti histamines / anti depressants
  • Young children and older people at risk, even when inactive
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Symptoms

  • Weakness / dizziness
  • Headache / nausea 
  • Cold / moist skin 
  • Paleness 
  • Dry tongue / thirst 
  • Vomiting 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid / weak heart beat
  • Fast / shallow breathing 
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Cramps 
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Treatment

a) Cooling the body

  • Remove the person to a shady place 
  • Loosen tight-fitting clothing
  • Remove extra clothes 
  • Cool the person by sponging with wet cloth / towel

b) Hydrating

  • Give fluids like sports drink / fruit or vegetable juices
  • Water containing electrolytes may be given
  • Give fluid every 15-20 minutes
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol 
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Consult A Doctor

  • If the symptoms don't clear up in 30 minutes

Seek emergency help in case of 

  • Physical collapse 
  • Loss of consciousness

Prevention

  • Do not indulge in drunken driving
  • Practice safe methods while driving / sporting / other activities
  • Always follow safety rules
  • Supervise the activities of children

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