What Is Heat Stress?
Heat stress, also known as heat syncope and hyperthermia, is a condition when the body has been exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time and normal bodily functions begin to cease. This can lead to fainting, full loss of consciousness, confusion, vomiting, heart palpitations, stroke, and cardiac arrest.
What Causes Heat Stress?
Being exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time with little water and rest and exercising or physical activity in high temperatures are the two main causes of heat stress. When people get hot, blood vessels expand, which drops blood pressure, this can eventually lead to fainting, loss of consciousness, and lowered organ functions. The body needs food and water to function properly. If you’re hungry your blood sugar will be low, causing your brain to not get enough energy, resulting in fainting. Similarly, water is needed for every body function.
How to Treat Heat Stress
The best way is to take frequent breaks, spend time in cooler temperatures, and drink lots of hydrating fluids. If the person only fainted for a few seconds or was about to faint, get them inside or somewhere cool. Offer them small sips of water until they start to feel better, then gradually increase water intake. Electrolyte replenishers are also very effective. Our Heat Stress Kit contains cold packs, emergency water packs, and electrolyte replenishers.
If the person fully loses consciousness outside. Get them somewhere cool and call 911, they may have suffered or may be suffering from heat stroke. If they wake up before emergency services, give them small sips of water until help arrives.