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Heat Stroke Signs & Treatment

Heat Stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature:

  • the body’s temperature rises rapidly,

  • the sweating mechanism fails, and

  • the body is unable to cool down.

Warning! Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided. Seek medical attention immediately.


• An extremely high body temperature (104°F or higher) • Red, hot, and dry or moist skin

• Rapid, strong pulse • Throbbing headache

• Dizziness • Nausea

• Confusion • Unconsciousness


Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the person. Response time will be critical.

  • Remove restrictive or excess clothing;

  • Cool the person rapidly:

  • Immerse him or her in a tub of cool water or ice water or place the person in a cool shower;

  • Spray the person with cool water from a water hose;

  • Sponge the person with cool water;

  • Use icebags at neck, armpit, and groin area; or if the humidity is low, wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.

  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until body temperature drops to 101-102°F (should then be removed from water to prevent overcooling).- If the person is alert, give him or her sips of cool water.

• Do not give the person alcohol to drink.- If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.

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