A rectal temperature over
104°F (40°C) after exposure to
a hot environment.
Confusion, severe restlessness, or
Fast heart rate.
Sweating that may be heavy or may have stopped.
that may be red, hot, and dry, even in the armpits.
Severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Even with immediate
treatment, it can be life-threatening or result in serious, long-term
complications. After calling 911 or other
emergency medical services, follow these first aid steps.
Move the person into a cool place, out of
Remove the person's unnecessary clothing, and
place the person on his or her side to expose as much skin surface to the air
Cool the person's entire body by sponging or spraying
cold water, and fan the person to help lower the person's body
temperature. Watch for signs of
rapidly progressing heatstroke, such as seizure, unconsciousness for longer than a few seconds, and moderate to severe difficulty breathing.
Check the person's rectal temperature and try to
reduce it to 102°F (39°C) or
lower as soon as possible. The longer the body is at a high temperature, the
more serious the illness and the more likely it is that complications will
develop. Temperatures taken by mouth or in the ear are not accurate in this
Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce a high body temperature that can
occur with heatstroke. These medicines may cause problems because of the body's
response to heatstroke.
If the person is awake and
alert enough to swallow, give the person fluids [32 fl oz (1 L) to
64 fl oz (2 L) over 1 to 2
hours] for hydration. Most people with heatstroke have an altered
level of consciousness and cannot safely be given
fluids to drink. You may have to help. Make sure the person is sitting up
enough so that he or she does not choke.
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.