Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Heat exhaustion definition and facts
- What is heat exhaustion?
- What causes heat exhaustion?
- Who is at risk for heat exhaustion?
- What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?
- When should a person seek medical care for heat exhaustion?
- How is heat exhaustion diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for heat exhaustion?
- What are the complications of heat exhaustion?
- How can heat exhaustion be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for heat exhaustion?
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Causes
- Patient Comments: Heat Exhaustion - Complications
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Heat exhaustion definition and facts
- Heat exhaustion is one part of the spectrum of heat-related illnesses that begin with heat cramps, progress to heat exhaustion, and finally to heat stroke.
- The body cools itself by sweating and allowing that sweat to evaporate. This requires enough fluid in the body to make sweat, air circulating across the skin, and low enough air humidity to allow that sweat to evaporate.
- Activity in a hot environment can overwhelm the body's ability to cool itself, causing heat-related symptoms.
- Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, lightheadedness, and muscle cramps.
- Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke when the body's temperature regulation fails. The affected individual develops a change in mental status, becomes confused, lethargic and may have a seizure, the skin stops sweating, and the body temperature may exceed 106 F (41 C ). This is a life-threatening condition and emergency medical attention is needed immediately.
- Treatment for heat exhaustion includes recognizing the symptoms, stopping the activity, and moving to a cooler environment. Rehydration with water or a sports drink is the cornerstone of treatment for heat exhaustion. If nausea or vomiting prevents the affected individual from drinking enough water, intravenous fluids may be required.
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