Heatwave: First Aid After A Heat Stroke

Remember to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during the hot summer months to prevent heat stroke.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaUpdated at: May 01, 2023 11:00 IST
Heatwave: First Aid After A Heat Stroke

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A heat stroke is a medical emergency that can occur due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion in hot and humid conditions. It happens when the body's temperature regulation system fails, and the core temperature rises to dangerous levels. A heat stroke can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. However, first aid can be provided to the person before medical help arrives.

In this article, we will discuss the steps to take in case of a heat stroke, including the signs and symptoms, prevention, and first aid measures.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can affect anyone, but it is more common in people who work outdoors, athletes, and those with underlying medical conditions. Some of the common signs and symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart rate
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
First Aid After A Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke Prevention

Preventing heat stroke is essential, especially during the hot summer months. Here are some steps you can take to prevent heat stroke:

  • Drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and a hat to protect your head and neck.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours (10 am to 4 pm).
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade or air-conditioned areas.
  • Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day.
  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car, even for a short period.

First Aid for Heat Stroke

If you suspect that someone is having a heat stroke, take immediate action. Here are the steps to follow:

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First Aid After A Heat Stroke

  • Call for emergency medical help immediately.
  • Move the person to a cool and shaded area, away from the heat source.
  • Remove any tight or heavy clothing to help the body cool down.
  • Fan the person with a handheld fan or anything else that can create a breeze.
  • Wet the person's skin with cool water, or apply ice packs to the neck, armpits, and groyne area.
  • Encourage the person to drink cool water or electrolyte-rich fluids if they are conscious and able to swallow.
  • Monitor the person's vital signs, including their breathing and pulse, until medical help arrives.

It is essential to remember that heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires prompt attention. Delaying treatment can lead to severe complications, such as brain damage, organ failure, and even death.


Heat stroke can happen to anyone, but it is preventable with proper precautions. If you or someone you know is experiencing the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, take immediate action and call for medical help. Meanwhile, follow the steps for first aid to help cool down the person's body temperature and prevent further complications. Remember to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during the hot summer months to prevent heat stroke.