Winters seem to last forever in Alberta, so when summer and hot weather finally hits all you want to do is be outside to soak up some rays. But an increase in frequency and intensity of heat will increase a heat related illness.
Heat Stress is a serious condition that can develop into heat stroke. It occurs when excessive sweating in the heat reduces blood volume. Warning signs may include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle cramps, usually in the abdomen, arms or legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
What can I do to help someone with heat stress? Treatment options vary according to the type of heat-related illness. Apply first aid and seek medical advice if the condition does not improve.
Heat Stroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 40.5 C and internal systems start to shut down. This may result in hallucinations, coma and seizures.
As well as effects on the nervous system, there can be lived, kidney, muscle and heart damage. Symptoms may be similar to heat exhaustion but can be worse. The skin may feel dry and hot. There will be no signs of sweating. A person may stagger, appear confused, have a fit or collapse and remain unconscious.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency and requires urgent attention.