Tips to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Heat exhaustion can occur when people work or exercise in a hot, humid environment. Body fluids are lost through sweating, causing dehydration and overheating of the body.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition. It happens when a person’s cooling system stops working and can cause brain damage or damage to internal organs. Heat stroke occurs most often in infants, children and the elderly.

Heat exhaustion symptoms

  • Pale coloring with cool, moist skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Muscle cramps or pains
  • Faint or dizzy feeling
  • Headache, weakness, thirst or nausea

Heat stroke symptoms

  • Unconscious or confused state
  • Flushed, hot and dry skin
  • Possible hyperventilation
  • Slightly higher blood pressure that later falls

Seek medical help for heat exhaustion if the person is confused or unable to keep fluids down. Call 911 immediately if you suspect someone has suffered a heat stroke.

Watch tips from Western Baptist doctors on how to stay healthy this summer, including staying hydrated, at

Phone the Baptist Health Line 24/7 at (270) 575-2918 if you have questions about a heat-related illness. Our nurses also can answer your questions here.

About Baptist Health Paducah

Baptist Health Paducah is a regional medical and referral center, serving about 200,000 patients a year from four states. With more than 1,800 employees and 200 physicians, it offers a full range of services, including cardiac and cancer care, diagnostic imaging, women’s and children’s services, surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and more. Since its humble beginning in 1953, Baptist Health Paducah has grown from 117 beds to 349 beds on a campus covering eight square blocks.
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