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 degrees 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 and 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. This particular post talks about recognising the symptoms of a stroke, and advice on what to do next.


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