Professionals at urgent medical care facilities see numerous cases of heat stroke each year. While heat stroke can be frightening it is most often not life threatening. Heat stroke occurs when a person’s core body temperature exceeds normal limits due to over exertion in the heat of the day. Too much activity in extremely high temperatures can lead to a variety of symptoms that indicate an immediate need for medical attention. People who work outside in the heat of the day, know the importance of remaining hydrated and taking short, frequent breaks to allow the body to cool down and prevent over heating.
After hours urgent care professionals make themselves available when normal doctors’ offices are closed. People who are experiencing symptoms associated with heat stroke, heat exhaustion or dehydration should visit their nearest urgent care facility as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening. When you are working or playing outside, there are several symptoms that can raise a flag and indicate you may be experiencing mild to moderate heatstroke. They include:
- No sweating – When a person ceases to sweat it means their body has reached a point where their water level is critically low. Sweat is a cooling mechanism the body uses to keep itself from overheating. Urgent medical care is needed when a person reaches this point, because it means the body is shutting down important systems in an attempt to regain critical balance.
- Throbbing headache – As a person begins to overheat, one of the first signs can be a throbbing headache accompanied by massive amounts of pressure. The body’s temperature is regulated by the hypothalamus. When the body’s temperature begins to rise, the hypothalamus begins to attempt to bring the high temps under control using any tactic possible.
- Nausea – As heat stroke reaches a crucial level, you may begin to experience bouts of nausea of vomiting. If the vomiting continues for any length of time, dehydration can occur. Urgent medical care may be needed to rehydrate the body using intravenous fluids.
- Disorientation and confusion – As the blood begins to thicken and water continues to be lost, the brain can begin to become oxygen deprived of vital nutrients it needs to function. When this begins to occur, disorientation and confusion can lead to seizures and medical care must be sought immediately.
- Rapid heartbeat – Rapid heartbeat is the body’s immediate attempt to begin to cool the body. As blood is forced through the blood vessels, the vessels rise to the surface of the skin to diffuse the heat that is rising in the body. Urgent medical care professionals encourage people at this point to sit down and place cool, wet washcloths on the skin to help lower the body’s core temperature.