PONTIAC, Ill. — OSF HealthCare Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center wants the community to stay cool and be aware of over heating.
OSF’s Chief Medical Officer, John Rinker said the first tool to understanding the signs of over heating, is understanding the difference between a heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Rinker said heat exhaustion is less serious, but people will feel faint, sweat excessively, feel nauseous and have rapid, weak pulse.
“Certainly in the summer months it’s more common. You’ll see it a lot more surrounding people participating in high risk activities: people that play sports, so think high school kids who are otherwise healthy, but they’re doing two-a-day football practices or they’re playing baseball out in the summer. They are certainly at higher risk for heat exhaustion.” Rinker said.
A heat stroke is more serious, he said. It is possible those suffering from a heat stroke can stop sweating completely.
“Once your body temperature gets above a certain degree, those basic mechanisms to make you sweat excessively start to get bypassed and shut off,” Rinker said. “By that time you’re probably exhibiting several other types of central nervous system deficits. Certainly keeping that in mind, you can check your temperature and take whatever steps necessary to start cooling yourself down.”
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion includes profuse sweating, extreme thirst, weakness, dizziness, muscle cramps due to salt depletion, nausea, vomiting, fainting and headaches.
Symptoms of heat stroke includes boy temperature greater than 104 degrees, no sweating in hot weather, neurological problems, rapid breathing and increased heart rate.
Rinker said during the summer heat, people should stay hydrated with non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages, plan around he heat and take steps to avoid sunburns.