How to identify heat exhaustion and heat stroke


DUBLIN, Ga. -- With the temperature getting close to triple digits and humidity rising across Middle Georgia Friday, heat exhaustion and heat stroke is a concern for many who plan on spending time outside.

Dr. Trevan Jasper with Fairview Park Hospital said that in the past week, the hospital has seen five cases of heat stroke or heat exhaustion in the past week. He said that these cases can relate to anything ranging from people working outside all day to some making bad decisions outside during the day.

He said that in one instance, a man was brought into the hospital with heat exhaustion after he spent the day mowing his lawn while drinking alcohol. He said that consuming any type of liquid that causes you to urinate more, such as alcohol or soda, while spending time in the heat can cause heat exhaustion.

Furthermore, Jasper said that being int he South, we are more prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke because of humidity. He said that what happens when you sweat is that you sweat water out and it evaporates and it creates cooling feeling on skin. However, when it is humid, the water on your skin doesn't have time to evaporate and cool you down, which can play a major role in heat exhaustion.

He said that heat exhaustion can cause someone to feel lightheaded and dizzy with a weak pulse. Because of these symptoms, Jasper said that most people can usually identify when they are in distress and need to get cool.

On the other hand, a sign of heat stroke is when you have a strong, rapid pulse but stop sweating. Sufferers also can start to get goosebumps and a chill. If you are outside in the heat for an extended period of time and start to feel these symptoms, Jasper said it is time to get inside. And if you don't start to feel better in an hour, you need to go to the hospital.

Jasper said that the people who are more prone to heat stroke and heat exhaustion are children, because they can't regulate body temperature yet, and people over the age of 60.

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