Medical Professionals Discuss Symptoms of Heat Stroke With NewsWest 9

Medical Professionals Discuss Symptoms of Heat Stroke With NewsWest 9

By: Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It's summer time in West Texas and the temperatures are continuing to rise. So now is the time to protect yourself from the most serious form of heat injury, heat stroke.

"It can damage your brain and even your organs," Manuel Guerro, Unit Director of Emergency Services at Medical Center Hospital, said.

Anyone can fall victim to heat stroke. However, young athletes, those working outside and people over the age of 50 are the most at risk.

"What usually happens is they'll have heat exposure of extreme temperatures and it's also caused by dehydration. So the combination, the heat and the dehydration, cause a rise in temperature in the body," Guerro said.

Guerro added the body will usually rise to 105 degrees and that will affect your nervous system. As a result, the victim will lose the ability to control their own body temperature.

"Typically what will happen is once you start having that heat stroke, you start getting fatigued, rapid heart rate, you'll have red skin but it will be dry like a sunburn. There won't be any sweating. The reason for that is the dehydration," Guerro said. 

Heat stroke can be fatal. So if you or someone you know has symptoms, call 911, put the victim in the shade, fan them or put water on them and if you have ice, put in the groin area, under the arms or on the neck.

"Try to lower their temperature down because typically heat stroke, the temperatures get up to 105. If you can, reduce their heat down to 100 or 101 while you're waiting on EMS. It's very important to render that aid," Guerro said. 

To avoid getting overheated, be sure to wear lose clothing, protect yourself with sunscreen and stay hydrated.