HEAT
STROKE

Hyperthermia is caused by the body's inability to regulate core body temperature. As a result, core body temperature begins to rise significantly. On hot summer days, it is easy for heat exhaustion and hyperthermia to creep up on a sailor who has spent long hours at the helm. Left unattended, it can result in death.

Hyperthermia is progressive. Heat cramps are the mildest form. This can progress to heat exhaustion which is a less serious form of hyperthermia. Heat stroke is the most serious form.

SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • Heavy sweating
  • cool moist skin w/goose bumps when in the heat
  • faintness
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • weak, rapid pulse
  • low blood pressure when standing up

Treatment

  • stop all activity
  • move to a cool location
  • drink cool water or a sports drink containing electrolytes



SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE

  • skin hot and dry (no longer sweating)
  • body temperature above 104F/xC
  • confusion and disorientation

Treatment

  • call for help (VHF MAYDAY)
  • stop all activity
  • move to a cool location
  • remove any excess clothing to assist body in cooling down
  • drink cool water or a sports drink containing electrolytes (DO NOT give alcohol or caffeinated drinks)
  • cover victim with damp/wet sheets
  • if symptoms get worse, apply ice or cold compresses to the neck, armpits and groin

Return from HEAT STROKE to FIRST AID

Return to HOME


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