Causes, Symptoms and Measures


© TANAPAT LEK.JIW / Shutterstock

Heat stroke can result from exposure to high temperatures for too long. Here you can find out how you can recognize heat stroke and what then helps.

Caution, danger to life: what is heat stroke?

Heatstroke ("hyperthermia syndrome") is a form of heat exhaustion and can result from exposure to excessive heat for long or too quickly. Physical exertion can also play a role. The most obvious symptom is a body temperature over 40 degrees. During heat stroke, the body can no longer produce sweat for cooling - this is life-threatening! Therefore, if you suspect heat stroke, the emergency doctor should be called immediately.

Who is most likely to suffer from heat stroke?

In principle, anyone can suffer from heat stroke, but the following groups are particularly susceptible:

- Babies and toddlers.

- Chronically ill.

- Elderly people.

- People who are not used to heat.

These symptoms occur with heat stroke

Heat stroke causes, symptoms similar to sunstroke. In contrast to this, however, the symptoms of heat stroke occur while one is still in the sun / heat. With a sunstroke, the first symptoms often only appear hours later. The following indications indicate heat stroke:

- Fever over 40 degrees, generally hot, red and dry skin.

- a headache.

- Nausea and vomiting.

- Dizziness.

- Cramps.

- Impaired consciousness up to unconsciousness.

- Circulatory collapse up to organ failure.

- Additionally, in babies: refusal to eat, high-pitched screaming or apathy, rapid pulse.

What to do in case of heat stroke

If someone shows signs of heat stroke, the first thing they should do is get them out of the sun. Other first aid tips before the doctor arrives:

- The person affected should rest in a cool and shady place as possible with their legs up and their head slightly raised.

- Clothing that is too tight is better loosened.

- Cold towels, cool the body down - they should mainly be placed on the head and neck, but also on the arms and legs.

- As long as the patient is conscious and not sick, it is important that he is given plenty of fluids (preferably water) to drink.

- Observe the patient closely - pay particular attention to breathing and pulse - and under no circumstances leave them alone. He could pass out at any time.

How do I protect myself from heat stroke?

In addition to heat stroke, sunstroke or sunburn can also result from exposure to the sun without protection. You can protect yourself against this with these tips:

- Never go outside without a hat (preferably with neck protection).

- Avoid midday sun.

- Apply properly (you can find out everything about the right sun protection factor here).

- Drink a lot (at least two liters, better three if it is very hot).

- Refrain from physically strenuous activities in extreme heat.

Follow our website at