- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Causes
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Complications
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- Heat exhaustion definition and facts
- What is heat exhaustion?
- What causes heat exhaustion?
- Who is at risk for heat exhaustion?
- What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?
- When should an individual seek medical care for heat exhaustion
- How is heat exhaustion diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heat exhaustion?
- What are the complications of heat exhaustion?
- How can heat exhaustion be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for heat exhaustion?
What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?
Individuals with heat exhaustion tend to have symptoms such as
- profuse sweating,
- muscle cramps,
- headache, and
- nausea and vomiting.
As dehydration increases from the loss of body water, lightheadedness may occur and fainting (syncope) may occur especially, if the affected individual stands up quickly (due to orthostatic hypotension).). The person also may have a low grade fever.
When should an individual seek medical care for heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion usually can be treated at home as long as the affected individual can maintain proper hydration and find a cool place to rest. Water, electrolyte replacement solutions or sport drinks are appropriate to consume. If nausea and vomiting prevent rehydration, the individual should seek medical attention, and may need IV fluids for rehydration.
Muscles cramps can be severe and if stretching and rehydration cannot relieve recurrent cramps, medical care also may be necessary.
It is important to recognize that if the person stops sweating, becomes confused, or has a seizure, heat stroke, a life-threatening condition, may be developing. Emergency medical services should be activated immediately (call 911 if available). The affected individual should be moved to a cooler place, have their clothing removed, and attempts should be made to cool the body with cold compresses, spraying or sponging the body with cool water and promoting air circulation with oscillating fans.