Heat Stroke

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Heat stroke, also known as “sunstroke,” is a condition where the body cannot regulate its internal temperature due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures. This causes the body temperature to rise continuously. When the body temperature increases due to exposure to hot weather, such as during intense physical activities or being in the heat for extended periods, the body fails to cool down, leading to abnormal symptoms like headache, dizziness, restlessness, confusion, seizures, unconsciousness, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath. The skin may also turn red.

Key Signs of Heat Stroke

A significant sign of heat stroke is the absence of sweating despite hot weather, along with a continuously rising body temperature. Symptoms include intense thirst, dizziness, headache, confusion, nausea, rapid breathing, and vomiting. Unlike heat exhaustion, where sweating is common, heat stroke involves a lack of sweat. Immediate rest is necessary if these symptoms occur.

Individuals at Risk of Heat Stroke During Summer

  • Elderly individuals
  • Children under 5 years old
  • People with insufficient rest
  • Heavy alcohol drinkers
  • Workers in hot and humid environments
  • Individuals with chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease
  • People engaging in outdoor activities, such as athletes and soldiers, without adequate preparation for the heat

First Aid for Heat Stroke

When encountering someone suffering from heat stroke, provide first aid by moving them to a shaded area. Have the person lie down with their legs elevated, loosen their clothing, and use a cool, damp cloth to wipe their body and head. Use a fan to help lower the body temperature quickly. Avoid covering the body with a wet cloth as it may hinder the evaporation process. If the person does not regain consciousness, seek immediate medical assistance by calling emergency services at 1669.

Preventing Heat Stroke

If you start to feel very hot due to outdoor activities or work, take a break from the activity to cool down. Use a fan, drink cold water, and wipe your face and body with a cool cloth to help dissipate heat from your body. It’s essential to sip water frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Additionally, wear light-colored, thin, and breathable clothing, and avoid consuming alcohol as it raises body temperature. Special care should be given to young children and the elderly by ensuring they stay in well-ventilated areas.


Information Source:  The Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health