Heatstroke treatment centers on cooling your body to a normal temperature to prevent or reduce damage to your brain and vital organs. To do this, your doctor may take these steps:
Sep. 02, 2011
- Immerse you in cold water. Your doctor may put your body in a bath of cold water or ice water to quickly lower your temperature.
- Use evaporation cooling techniques. Some doctors prefer to use evaporation instead of immersion to lower your body temperature. In this technique, cool water is misted on your skin while warm air fanned over your body causes the water to evaporate, cooling the skin.
- Pack you with ice and cooling blankets. Another method is to wrap you in a special cooling blanket and apply ice packs to your groin, neck, back and armpits to lower your temperature.
- Give you medications to stop your shivering. If any treatments to lower your body temperature make you shiver, your doctor may give you a muscle relaxant, such as a benzodiazepine. Shivering increases your body temperature, making treatment less effective.
- Extreme heat: A prevention guide to promote your personal health and safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp. Accessed Aug 4, 2011.
- Heatstroke. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec22/ch338/ch338d.html?qt=heat%20stroke&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 4, 2011.
- Zimmerman JL, et al. Hyperthermia. In: Hall JB, et al. Principles of Critical Care. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Professional; 2005. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2282701. Accessed July 7, 2009.
- Becker JA, et al. Heat-related illness. American Family Physician. 2011;83:1325.
- Hyperthermia: Too hot for your health. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/hyperthermia.htm. Accessed May 27, 2011.
- Ishimine P. Heat stroke in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 27, 2011.
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