Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life-threatening emergency. It occurs when a person’s body temperature rises rapidly but cannot sweat. Sweating is the body’s air conditioning and when the body’s sweating mechanism fails, the body is unable to cool down. The cool down mechanism can fail in extreme heat, high humidity, or vigorous activity in the hot sun,
“Heat stroke is a medical emergency,” says Boris Stoev, D.O., Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “Call 911 immediately.”
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
The following are the most common symptoms of heat stroke. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Disorientation, agitation, or confusion
- Sluggishness or fatigue
- Hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty
- A high body temperature
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid heartbeat
To learn more about heat stroke visit The Saint Peter’s Better Health Library.