How To Treat Heat Stroke, Signs & Symptoms – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance


Heat stroke is caused by the failure of the thermostat in the brain, which regulates the body’s temperature. If someone has a high fever or has been in the heat for a long period of time, the body can become dangerously overheated. Heatstroke can develop from someone who is already suffering from heat exhaustion. Heat stroke can develop quickly, with little warning and the casualty can become unresponsive within a few minutes. Our priority is to try and cool them down as quickly as possible and get them to hospital, as this can be life-threatening. If someone has heatstroke, you may see some of the following signs: Hot flushed and dry skin, restlessness and confusion. A headache, dizziness or discomfort. A bounding pulse and high temperature above 40 degrees. Or their level of response may decrease rapidly. If someone has heat stroke, move them to a cool area quickly and remove their outer clothing where possible. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help. Help sit them down and wrap them in a cold wet sheet. Pour water on the sheet to keep it wet until their temperature falls below 37.5 degrees. You can measure this with a thermometer under the armpit. If there’s no sheet, you could sponge them with cold water or fan them to keep them cool. When their temperature returns to normal, replace the wet sheet with a dry sheet. While waiting for help to arrive, monitor their level of response. If their temperature starts to rise again, repeat the process to try and cool them down. If they become unresponsive at any point, prepare to treat an unresponsive casualty. So remember, when treating heat stroke move them to a cool place and remove clothing where possible. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help. Wrap them in a cold wet sheet until their temperature drops. And monitor their level of response. And that’s how you treat someone with heat stroke. If this video has been helpful to you, help support St John Ambulance by going to sja.org.uk/donate