Our summers are hot – and Queensland’s humidity makes heat exhaustion and heat stroke more likely than other some parts of the country. Those of us who spend excessive time or who exercise in a hot environment, as well as the elderly or young children, are most commonly affected.
Heat exhaustion is a result of the body overheating. Symptoms include weak rapid pulse, rapid shallow breathing, profuse sweating, headaches and thirst. What should you do? Remove the patient from the hot environment, remove excessive clothing, cool the body down (wetting and fanning the body is a good method), provide sips of water and seek professional advice if symptoms persist.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency and may be life threatening. Call 000/112. Symptoms include hot skin, no sweating, strong rapid pulse and possibly convulsions and reduced consciousness. Cool the body as rapidly as possible and give sips of water while waiting for the ambulance.