Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke Health (cont.)

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How can heat exhaustion and heat stroke be prevented?

Avoid heat exhaustion by not engaging in strenuous activity in hot, humid environments. People not used to the heat should be particularly careful. Intersperse periods of rest in a cool environment with plenty of available fluids to drink. Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day.

Review the weather report before strenuous activity and look specifically for the heat index (which combines temperature and humidity).

Heat stroke often occurs in infants, children, and adults who are unable to modify their environments: the elderly, overweight, and bed-ridden people. People who are taking types of blood pressure, allergy, or depression medication may also be particularly at risk and should avoid hot environments.

People in supervisory positions such as coaches, trainers, and lifeguards should be trained to specifically recognize signs of heat illness and what preventive measures to take.

What is the prognosis for a person who has had heat exhaustion or heat stroke?

The prognosis is related to the severity of the heat exposure and the patient's general medical condition. The very young and the very old have the worst outcomes. In general, the prognosis with heat exhaustion is excellent, with full recovery expected. However, with heat stroke, permanent nerve, heart, liver, or kidney problems, or even death, can occur.

REFERENCES:

CDC.gov. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat

CDC.gov. Heat Related Deaths -- United States, 199-2003.

NOAA.gov. 2013 Heat Related Fatalities.

NOAA.gov. Weather Fatalities.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/16/2014

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