Heat Stroke

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Heat Stroke:


If someone with HEAT EXHAUSTION continues to be exposed to high temperatures then HEAT STROKE may develop.


The body becomes dangerously dehydrated in Heat Stroke. It's cooling mechanism malfunction and are no longer able to help the body to lose heat, so the body temperature starts to rise and the core temperature can reach high levels (40°c) within a short space of time.


Signs & Symptoms:

Include the symptoms of heat exhaustion as follows:

  • Excessive sweating.
  • Headache, dizziness.
  • Feeling lightheaded/faint.
  • Muscle cramping.
  • Hot flushed dry skin.
  • Rapid deterioration id level of consciousness (AVPU) Score.
  • Nausea & Vomiting.


Plus additional symptoms of:

  • Confusion.
  • Disorientation.
  • Rapid shallow breathing.
  • Fits (seizures).



HEAT STROKE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. If left untreated the patient could slip into a coma, develop heart or kidney failure or brain damage. In extreme the patient may die.

  • Try and move patient to a cool area.
  • Dial 999.
  • Cool patient rapidly.
  • Remove clothing and wrap the patient in a cold, wet sheet.
  • Keep sheet wet and cold until temperature falls to normal level. Change wet sheet for a dry sheet.
  • Sponging with cold water-use the garden hose pipe to spray with water.



  • Be aware of the use of "Recreational Drugs such as Ecstasy".
  • Patient may dance for longer periods and sweat excessively and become hot and dehydrated.



We hope you find this article useful. This is one in an alphabetical series of articles addressing various symptoms and their first aid treatments. If you would like more information on related resuscitation and first aid training, please get in touch.


You might also be interested in our blog. One of our more popular articles is about quality or quantity when it comes to first aid training.



First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

Read 19840 times Last modified on Sunday, 11 May 2014
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Clive Haddrell Cert Ed LIQA MSET

NHS Paramedic Tutor, NHS Ambulance Emergency Driving Tutor, FAETC 1&2, Cert/Ed, D32, D33, LIQA. Manual Handling Tutor (RoSPA) and Member of the Society for Education and Training. I have over thirty years experience with the former Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and recently with Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust. My experience includes the role of paramedic tutor, rapid response motorcycle paramedic. For the last 25years paramedic advisor to the well-known BBC television program "Casualty".

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