Heat exhaustion vs Heat stroke

Treatment for Heatstroke

Heatstroke requires urgent medical treatment. If you are waiting for an ambulance or transporting someone to an emergency room, it is important to cool the affected person as much as possible.

Steps to take include:

  • Applying ice packs to the armpits, groin, and neck
  • Drinking sports drinks or salted water
  • Laying down in a cool area, with feet slightly elevated
  • Removing clothing that is tight or heavy

At the hospital, treatment for heatstroke might include:  

  • Cooled intravenous (IV) fluids
  • IV fluids to manage dehydration
  • Cooling blankets
  • Ice bath
  • Antiseizure medicines
  • Supplemental oxygen

In severe cases, cold-water lavage might be needed. This treatment uses catheters (thin, flexible tubes) to fill body cavities (down the throat or in the rectum) with cold water. The goal is to lower your body temperature.  

The time you spend in the hospital will depend on how severe your heatstroke is and if there is any organ or neurological involvement.

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