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Heat stroke is one of the most serious forms of a heat injury you can receive. Heat stroke can be minor or cause major damage. It often occurs from milder heat-related illness such as heat cramps, fainting from heat and heat exhaustion. However, it can still strike even if you have shown no previous signs of heat injury.
Heat stroke is when you are exposed to prolonged high temperatures and dehydrated, your body’s temperature starts to fail as it can’t keep you cool enough. It can cause many complications with the nervous system if you are continued to be exposed to high temperatures.
Heat stroke is evident to all doctors; however, lab results can confirm the doctors diagnoses and rule out any other causes for your symptoms and assess any organ damage. The tests that can be done and are available at AFC Urgent Care Tyrone St. Petersburg are:
Check your bodies core temperature. Most accurate way of determining your cores body temperature is and more accurate than getting temperatures from your mouth or forehead
Check the sodium or potassium levels and the content of gases in your blood to see if there is any damage to your central nervous system
If the urine is darker, you could have a heat-related condition. Urine tests also check your kidney function which can be affected by heatstroke
Helps to review for serious damage in your muscle tissue
Finally, this helps to check for any damage that may have been caused to your internal organs from the heat stroke
Heatstroke treatment focuses on cooling your bodies temperature to normal temperature levels to prevent or reduce any damage it may be causing. To do this, your doctor may do the following:
A bath of cold or even ice water has been proven to be the most effective way of lowering your bodies core temperature
Healthcare professionals may try to lower the body temperature using evaporation cooling techniques by misting cool water over your entire body while warm air if fanned over you, causing the water to evaporate and cool your skin
Wrapping you with special cooling blankets and inserting ice packs near your groin, neck, back and armpits to help lower your bodies temperature
If the above treatments make you shiver, your doctor may provide a muscle relaxant medication to help stop the shivering
Many suffer from heat-related sickness when the body’s core temperature starts to go into overdrive. Under some conditions, sweating is not enough. If a person’s body temperature rises too fast, it can cause damage to your brain or other vital organs. When humidity is high, the sweat you are experiencing will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing the heat rising in your body quickly. Other issues that can limit your body’s ability to regulate temperatures include old age, youth (0-4) obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn and substance use.
The symptoms of heat stroke and sun stroke are the same. Sun stroke is another term for heat stroke, but includes sun burn.
If you or someone is showing signs or symptoms of heat stroke, and they aren’t able to cool themselves, walk in to an urgent care immediately to get treatment. If the heat stroke symptoms are severe like fainting or vomiting, immediately go to the nearest hospital emergency room to get treatment, as the heat stroke could be causing more severe damage.
With state-of-the-art centers and a professional medical team, AFC provides on-site X-rays, labs, procedures, and more!
Urgent care is for medical conditions that require prompt attention but do not pose an immediate threat to your health or life. Here is a simple rule of thumb: if your medical issues(s) are life threatening, call 911, or go directly to a hospital emergency room. If not, an urgent care center such as AFC is an excellent alternative.