August 22, 2023 – In the midst of EMSA Medical Heat Alerts in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, EMSA is warning Oklahomans that when your body’s core temperature rises due to overexposure to extreme heat, it can send you into a medical emergency known as heat stroke.
During heat stroke, your body’s heat-regulating mechanisms, like sweat glands, shut down, and without immediate action, heat stroke can lead to death or a permanent disability.
EMSA reminds citizens that a heat stroke victim can die quickly, so you shouldn’t wait for medical help to arrive before taking action.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Hot skin
- Pale skin
- High body temperature over 104 degrees
- No sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Increased respiratory rate
- Decreased urine output
- Confusion or disorientation
- Loss of consciousness
- Pupils may be dilated and unresponsive to light
- Seek emergency medical attention immediately.
- Move to a cooler environment and remove outer clothing
- Apply cool, wet towels to the extremities or pour water over them
- Increase air flow with a fan
- Massage extremities vigorously to propel cooled blood back to the body’s core
- After the body’s temperature has dropped to 102 degrees, stop any active cooling methods. Monitor the temperature to make sure it doesn’t rise again.
- Begin replacing fluids.
Chronic conditions like diabetes, consumption of alcohol, and vomiting and diarrhea can put children and adults at risk for a heat stroke during very hot weather.