Patient Comments: Heat Stroke - Experience and Preventive

Question:Describe your experience with heat stroke, and could it have been prevented?

Comment from: SuzyQ666, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

Well over a year ago, (May '12) I was taken to the local emergency room by the paramedics who were called in by my manicurist and another woman in the hair salon. It was an inordinately hot day, I had had little or nothing to eat, yet had been drinking a sufficient amount of water. So I thought. Anyway, I was kept at the hospital (after spending all afternoon in the emergency room getting MRIs on what seemed to be my entire body) overnight and had an IV pumping fluids into me. A young neurologist who saw me in the emergency room said I'd suffered a TIA (transient ischemic attack), while my personal physician felt the more likely situation was that I'd had heat exhaustion and dehydration. (There was no evidence of a clot or leaking blood vessel.) I left the hospital after about a 24 hour stay and drove home. I don't know if I'll ever know for sure whether I'd had heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or a TIA. All I know is that I was wide awake the entire night, unable to sleep. When I was discharged, I was given a packet about stroke, had a visit from a social worker and more information than answers.

Comment from: Serenity, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I was 27 and I experienced heat stroke in August 2013, when Iowa was experiencing its record-breaking heat wave. I was going in and out of work for 6 hours with only one break 1/2 way between. It was store policy that liquids were to be kept in a room 3 yards from the registers and you could not drink if you had a customer or there were customers in line. I was feeling faint, light headed, clammy palms, 99.5 temperature when I got home, I felt pretty weak and just lied in bed after work. I also had light sensitivity and headaches that continued into September along with clammy palms quiet often.

Comment from: KKain, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 15

Today was not the hottest day of the summer as it has been 34 here all summer but, 25 degrees was hot enough to give me heatstroke. I was heading home around lunch time, got in my car and felt great. Within a few minutes I began to lose some of my vision where I found it difficult to focus on the cars in front of me and how close or far they were. I also had a very hard time seeing the stop lights and my orientation was very distorted. I drove home thinking it was nothing and never expecting heatstroke, I thought it was just fatigue. I got home and felt sick to my stomach therefore, thought it was a good idea to have a nice cool glass of water. Within ten minutes, I got this pounded headache almost a migraine. I finally realized I had just experienced my first heatstroke. Scariest thing of my life as I did not take the symptoms seriously and it could have been fatal.

Comment from: DianeH, 45-54 Female Published: August 06

I went out bike riding later than I normally do, (10:00 a.m. rather than 7 or 8) on an extremely hot day. I went to a path I ride normally 2-3x a week. I rode a little farther than normal and rode faster on my way back. It came over me in no more than 2 minutes. I started to see spots and felt light-headed, so I decided to get off my bike in the shade. I started to feel disoriented and leaned up against a fence before passing out. My head hit a metal post on the way down; fortunately I was still wearing my bike helmet. I was so lucky that a number of strangers, stopped and stayed with me. They gave me their water and gatorade and I sat for a while. I felt nauseous and vomited up all the water I had ingested. They were wise enough not to let me ride back by myself and called some friends of theirs to bring their van and pick me up and they drove me back to my car. It was unbelievable. Much of this I don't remember but the guys who helped me walked me through what had happened. I still can't believe it happened to me. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. I had no fluids prior to my ride and didn't start to drink until I had been riding for about a half an hour in extreme heat and humidity. I was very fortunate.

Comment from: EmmaJulieStar, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I'm only a 15 year old, and I do marching band. Every summer my fellow band members and I march out in the heat, and we always have Popsicle breaks and water breaks, we even get into the water/sprinkler. But today, started this afternoon at 1:55 pm on 8/4/2011, I had my first heat stroke. I was so cold, but I was very hot on the outside and I did charts and marched, but it was very difficult and intense also, so I got really light headed, so I was like, that's nothing at all. Then I almost white out and so the staff told me to be in the garage with a fan. I didn't felt so well, so I thought maybe if I ate lunch I'll be better. But it only made it worse. I started to heat up more and I was very shaky and I started to cry when I get a stomach pain and such. At 5:45 pm, things got very much worse; I got a giant migraine, started to hyperventilate pretty fast and got very light headed that I couldn't see straight. I never learned to relax, but it was very scary, but the good thing is I never had to go to the hospital for it. If I did, I know my band fellows and staff would be very sad about it. Thank God I'm ok.

Comment from: Cathy S, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

I had a heat stroke 30 years ago at the age of 16. It was a very hot day at the park, after a while I started feeling weak and felt very dizzy. Next thing I knew I was waking up with alot of people around me. Luckly 2 ladies knew what to do. They carried me to a bathroom and put me on the cold floor and poured water on me. Still till this day I still get sick but I never get that sick because once the heat rises I stay inside. It puts a damper on things but I never want to feel that way again.

Patient Comments

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Heat Stroke - Risk Question: If you or a relative had a heat stroke, were either of you at risk? If you are at risk, in what ways will you try to prevent an occurrence?
Heat Stroke - Treatment Question: Describe the medical treatment you received when you suffered a heat stroke.
Heat Stroke - Symptoms Question: If you, a relative, or friend had a heat stroke, what were the symptoms?
Heat Stroke - Experience Question: Please share your experience with heat stroke.

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