Patient Comments: Heat Stroke - Experience and Preventive

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

Comment from: vcob, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

After falling asleep in the sun for six hours in heat over 90 degrees, I awoke with a terrible headache and vomiting. I continued to have the headache and was sick to my stomach for three days. I went to my family doctor, and he said I had a heat stroke. He said to hydrate myself with Gatorade and eat plenty of salt to retain my water.

Comment from: Charlotte, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 05

On Sept 4th I attended an outside birthday party on an extremely hot day. I felt I was getting too hot but did not want to be a party pooper so I continued to remain outside with everyone else. After 3 or 4 hours, I could not take anymore and felt I was not even going to make it to my car but I did. After I turned on the A/c unit, I begin to feel water running down the left side of my face and when I wiped it, there was nothing there. To this day, I have this feeling all day every day. I do have a doctor appointment tomorrow to see what he says. I feel sure it was a heat stroke. I will never sit out in the sun for that long for any birthday party, even though it was my grandson's.

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: 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: patricia.ethridge, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 02

I am a 34 year old core driller and I work in the heat all day. I live in Alabama so you know it is very hot here. I came home after working 12 hours in excessive heat, got very weak and passed out. I was taken to the hospital and they said they couldn't find anything wrong. I was glad. Everyone be careful working in this heat and stay hydrated.

Comment from: 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: July 24

My son was playing baseball and started feeling dizzy. His hands and feet felt like gravity was pulling him down unable to move. Could not keep his eyes open, started seeing colored squares in shapes. Then everything went gray. It was hard to breath. My son tried not to fall. He started to hear a siren-like sound. He struggled to get to shade and get water. He drank Gatorade and rested for one hour felt better, but very weak. Told he had heat stroke and dehydration. They forced him to play in the sun after the one hour of rest. The next day he is still very weak and his legs feel funny.

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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