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First Aid & Emergencies

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Understanding Heat-Related Illness -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses?

Heat cramp symptoms can include:

  • Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet
  • Hard, tense muscles

Heat exhaustion symptoms can include:

Recommended Related to First Aid

Understanding Sprains and Strains -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Sprains and strains, from twisted ankles to aching backs, are among the most common injuries. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments, the tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect bones to one another at a joint. A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle tissue, commonly called a pulled muscle. To diagnose a sprain or strain, your doctor will take a detailed medical history and do a physical exam of the affected area. Often, the history and exam are all that's needed. If your doctor...

Read the Understanding Sprains and Strains -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention.

Heat stroke symptoms can include:

Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. If a person is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, GET MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY. Any delay could be fatal. Seek emergency medical care for anyone who has been in the heat and who has the following symptoms:

  • Confusion, anxiety, or loss of consciousness
  • Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat
  • Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104 degrees to 106 degrees F
  • Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion) or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin (which may indicate heat stroke)
  • Convulsions
  • Any other heat-related symptom that is not alleviated by moving to a shady or air-conditioned area and administering fluids and salts

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2015

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