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Heat exhaustion is one of the heat-related syndromes. Symptoms range in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to potentially life-threatening heatstroke. Heat exhaustion can begin suddenly, usually after working or playing in the heat, perspiring heavily or being dehydrated. In the winter-time in Arizona you may not ‘feel’ overheated but given our dry climate, physicians warn that this time of year is the worst for heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion signs and symptoms include:
- Faintness or dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Heavy sweating often accompanied by cold, clammy skin
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Pale or flushed face
- Muscle cramps
- Weakness or fatigue
If you suspect heat exhaustion
Untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition. If you suspect heat exhaustion, take these steps immediately:
- Move the person out of the heat and into a shady or air-conditioned place.
- Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
- Remove tight or heavy clothing.
- Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine.
- Cool the person by spraying or sponging with cool water and fanning.
- Monitor the person carefully.
Call 911 or your local emergency number if the person's condition deteriorates, especially if he or she experiences:
- Fever of 104 F (40 C) or greater
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