Heat related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are a very real threat in the Texas sun. Heat exhaustion is when the body overheats when you are too active in hot temperatures. Heat stroke is a more severe illness that can be life threatening.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:
- Temperature over 37.8°C (about 100°F)
- Fast pulse
- Moist skin, sweating
- Muscle cramps and tenderness
- Nausea, vomiting
Symptoms of heat stroke may include:
- Temperature over 40.5° C (about 105° F)
- Weakness, lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
- Confusion, delirium, unconsciousness (can progress to coma)
- No sweating
- Pale, dry skin
- Fast breathing, fast heartbeat
There are steps you can take to avoid putting yourself or your loved ones in danger this summer:
- Avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
- If you have to work or exercise under hot conditions, drink lots of fluids (preferably sports drinks, which contain both salt and sugar), and take frequent breaks in the shade.
- If you have a risk factor for heat exhaustion or heat stroke, be careful participating in activities in hot weather. Take regular rests and drink lots of fluids.
- During heat waves, try to spend time indoors with air conditioning or go to an air-conditioned shelter. This is especially important for older adults.
Thomas Lee Jr. experienced the dangers first hand after a heat stroke led him to a 9-day stay at our facility last summer. Lee was able to make a tremendous recovery while working with the staff of Medical City Las Colinas.