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As the temperatures and humidity keep rising throughout these hot summer months, so does the risk for heat stroke… and those who participate in physical activities during high heat and humidity face an increased risk for heat stroke. Heat stroke, which can be fatal if not treated immediately, is a type of hyperthermia entailing abnormally high body temperatures and any of the signs listed below. In addition the summer athletes, infants, the elderly, and farmers, construction workers, contractors, and the like are all more susceptible to facing heat stroke attacks.
On Friday (June 27, 2014) the National Athletic Trainer’s Association released new guidelines regarding the treatment of heat stroke. According to the experts, the best way to save lives from heat stroke is to immediately cool the victim and then get them to a hospital for further treatment. According to Douglas Casa, who is the director of athletic training education at the University of Connecticut and is also the chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute, “if you can get a person's core temperature down within 30 minutes of their collapse, you can save their life. But too often, the wait for an ambulance and ride to the hospital delays this cooling.” Recognizing the signs of heat stroke can lead to quicker treatment and better outcomes.
Signs of heat stroke:
|-- High body temperature||-- Hallucinations|
|-- The absence of sweating||-- Confusion|
|-- Hot red or flushed dry skin||-- Agitation|
|-- Rapid pulse||-- Disorientation|
|-- Difficulty breathing||-- Seizures|
|-- Strange behavior||-- Coma|
Cooling the victim immediately significantly increases their chances of survival… and experts say one of the quickest and most effective ways to cool the victim is to stick them in a tub of cold ice water, which experts are also urging coaches to keep tubs of cold water by the field during summer athletic activities. If you don’t have a tub of cold water handy, using ice packs can also help cool the individual.