Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body's temperature rises rapidly,
the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
• Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
• Loss of consciousness (coma)
• Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
• Very high body temperature
• Fatal if treatment delayed
Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:
• Call 999 for emergency medical care.
• Stay with worker until emergency medical services arrive.
• Move the worker to a shaded, cool area and remove outer clothing.
• Cool the worker quickly with a cold water or ice bath if possible; wet the skin, place cold wet clothes on skin, or soak clothing with cool water.
• Circulate the air around the worker to speed cooling.
• Place cold wet clothes or ice on head, neck, armpits, and groin; or soak the clothing with cool water.
Publishing date: 25/2/2017