Heat-related terms, care from the Red Cross | Health
FRANKLIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - With temperatures rising, the American Red Cross would like residents to know what the heat-related terms mean and some general care for heat emergencies.
The Red Cross have the following definition for these heat-related terms:
- Heat cramps - muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. They are caused by exposure to heat and humidity, and loss of fluids. Heat cramps are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
- Heat exhaustion - typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke. Signals of heat exhaustion include: cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
- Heat stroke - also known as sun stroke, it is life-threatening. The victim's temperature-control system, which produces sweat as a way of cooling the body, stops working. Body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red, and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing
The Red Cross also offers these general care tips for heat emergencies:
- Heat exhaustion - Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes, and have the person drink slowly. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths to the skin. Fan the person. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness
- Heat stroke - Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation. Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Wrap wet towels or sheets around the body. Use a water hose, if available, to cool the victim. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink
For more information, you can visit the Red Cross online.
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