Patient Comments: Heat Stroke - Experience and Preventive

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

Comment from: Manda, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

I experienced heat stroke this last summer while on a mission trip in Mexico where we built a house. On the specific day we got to the work site around 7AM and I spent the next 3 hours tacking black tar paper to the side of the house while the sun beat down, hitting the black paper and intensifying the heat. Around 10 we took a break to regroup and I noticed my eyes weren't focusing correctly and my mouth was super dry. I decided to sit down and take a 5 minute break. When the time came to get up and start working again I couldn't move and I could only barely mumble in response, and it took a lot of effort to get that mumble! I was carried to our van, water poured over me and the AC was turned on. Luckily we had medical staff on the trip with us so I was able to be taken care of. It took 4 hours, 1 full Nalgene bottle of saline water, one bottle of water and 4 bottles of Gatorade for me to get full movement back in me body. I felt sick, shaky and dizzy for days afterwards. When I returned home I consulted with my doctor and it was determined a medication I was taking, a beta blocker, contributed to the heat stroke. There were definitely signs of heat exhaustion first though and I wish I would have paid attention to them instead of pushing through.

Published: August 02

My brother-in-law passed away on July 23rd from a heat stroke. No one around him realized what was happening; he was hallucinating, stumbling around, acting like he was drunk or something. Everyone left the house and a few hours later he was found and taken to the hospital, where he died several hours later. DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING! If you have symptoms of a heat stroke, get to the ER immediately! And watch out for loved ones, stay inside, out of the heat, make sure they have plenty of water!

Comment from: turtleg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

One day in summer I was at a nursery buying some flowers for my back yard. It was very hot and the humidity was around 95%. I felt a little dizzy, but didn't think a lot about it, because I use to have low blood pressure. When I came home and planted the flowers, the dizziness got stronger and I felt like passing out. I went in, laid down on the couch and drunk some cold water, when I got all of a sudden extreme headache and a skin rush, but my skin felt dry and didn't sweat at all. It was like a panic attack that tightened my chest and I had to vomit. With my last strength I crawled to the bathroom but couldn't reach the toilet any more. Everything blacked out around me and I heard loud noises in my ears. I had spastic cramps in my extremities and was unable to move. My vision was blurred and I seriously thought, this is it, I wasn't going to make it. I probably laid there for several hours until I could get back to the couch. I wasn't even able to call 911 because my hands were in a weird spastic position and I couldn't move them. The next day I still had strong symptoms of headache, dizziness, loud noises in my ears and a very limited vision. I drove myself to a doctor, who thought I had a brain aneurysm and sent me immediately to get an MRI. It turned out fine, but I didn't feel better at all for another week. After a week, my vision came back and the headache and dizziness disappeared. Today I know I had a full blown heat stroke and could have died, but the doctor was not even considering this possibility and had no clue, what caused my symptoms.

Comment from: Jeritxam, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I was diagnosed with MS about 6 months ago. My husband and I went for a motorcycle ride. I had a beer and a glass of water. I was feeling ok. We headed back on the beltway when my stomach began cramping, I was sweating, could not speak an then all of a sudden the sweating ceased, I blacked out and could not move. Luckily, he got me to an air-conditioned area. It's been days and I am still vomiting, diarrhea and a slight headache and I still do not feel right. I am in bed taking good care of myself now. The MS flares when I get over heated. I must listen to my body!

Comment from: Annie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I was on holiday and had spent the whole day at the beach - swimming in the sea and tanning in the sun. I made quite a few serious mistakes that eventually led to my severe heat stroke. First I had two glasses of beer at the beach, then later that night at home even though I was feeling a bit flushed and hot; I felt ok and had a glass of wine with my friend. Within an hour I was delirious and felt very sick. I collapsed into a stupor like sleep and awoke in the middle of the night feeling nauseous. I ran to the bathroom and I had a terrible bout of diarrhea. I felt like I was just passing a fountain of water from my butt! Then my whole body went ice cold and I thought I was going to pass out on the loo, when suddenly I threw up violently for a few minutes. After that I felt fine. But I kept my stomach light the next day and kept myself hydrated with electrolytes and definitely stayed out of the sun.

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?

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