Heat Exhaustion – What does it feel like and how to treat this condition

Working in hot conditions and excessive sweating can lead to heat exhaustion. It is the body’s response when it has lost water, salts or electrolytes through sweat. Heat stroke may occur if this condition goes untreated but thankfully there are ways of treating a person who suffers from heat exposure so that they don’t have any lasting effects later on due to their experience with sudden temperature changes which cause not only physical injury but emotional ones too as well such as feeling anxiety.

Someone who has heat exhaustion will be experiencing a range of signs and symptoms such as;

  • Pale, sweaty skin
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting
  • Their pulse may become fast but weak (An adults average pulse rate is usually between 60- 90 beats per minute at rest)
  • Cramps in their arms, legs and abdomen
  • The casualty may say that they feel cold however they will be hot to touch

To treat heat stroke you should;

Remove the casualty from the heat by taking them to a cool shaded place

Remove any excessive clothing

Give the casualty plenty of water to re-hydrate and if possible use oral rehydration solutions such as Dioralyte which is a brand of rehydration salts that you can take to replace lost water and body salts. These rehydration sachets contain a powder that you mix with water to make a drink.

Obtain medical advice even if the casualty recovers quickly

Should the casualty’s level of response deteriorate then dial 999 and should they go unconscious then place them into the recovery position and monitor their airway and breathing.

Heat exhaustion can lead into heat stroke so keep a very close eye on your casualty.

Essential 6 provide a wide range of First Aid Training courses from our venues across the Southwest or we can deliver training at your premises anywhere in the UK.


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