Q

Injuries, Wound and Trauma

How is heat exhaustion treated?

A Answers (3)

  • Heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion, affect nearly six million people each summer, so it's important to know the warning signs.

    Heat exhaustion is a common outcome from being out in the sun too long. It has a slow onset with profuse sweating, and you will start getting weak and dizzy --  a sign of dehydration. You need to get to a cool environment, raise your feet and drink a sport drink to replace electrolytes and the fluids you've lost.

    Even more dangerous than heat exhaustion is heat stroke, which is different from what you may suspect. Symptoms include a redness of the face, but no sweating. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and needs to be handled by medical emergency personnel. That's the time to call 911.
  • Anyone suffering from heat exhaustion should stop what they are doing and move (or be moved) to a cool environment, such as a building or car with air conditioning. They should be rehydrated with water, and if needed, cooled with fans, ice packs, or cold towels. Seek medical attention for heat exhaustion if the symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
    (This answer provided for NATA by the Marist College Athletic Training Education Program.)
  • A Emergency Medicine, answered on behalf of
    How Can I Treat Heat Exhaustion?
    To treat heat exhaustion, identify the early symptoms and call 911. In this video, Natalie Shum, MD, an emergency medicine doctor at West Hills Hospital, describes further steps you can take while you await transport to the emergency room (ER).
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Who is most at risk for heat exhaustion?