Heatstroke is a very serious, life-threatening condition. It happens when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. During heatstroke, the body’s temperature rises fast. Sweating stops and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 minutes. Heatstroke can cause death or permanent injury if emergency care is not provided.
Some of the warning signs of heatstroke are very high body temperature of 103 degrees or more, red, hot, and dry skin and no sweating. Other symptoms are throbbing headache, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.
Heatstroke is a matter of life or death. If you see someone with these warning signs, have someone call 9-1-1 or get medical help. Get the victim to a shady area. Cool the victim fast, however you can: in a tub of cold water or a cool shower, spray the person with cool water from a garden hose or sponge the person with cool water. If the humidity is low, cover the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her.
Watch the person’s body temperature. Continue cooling until it drops to 101 or 102 degrees. Call the hospital ER for further instructions if the emergency team is delayed. Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.