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Treat Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a serious medical emergency, requiring aggressive cooling and immediate evacuation.


1. Evaluate for heatstroke. If you suspect heatstroke, treat with the following steps.
2. Move the patient out of direct sunlight, preferably into a cool, shaded area. (Image 1)
3. Have the patient lie flat and elevate his or her feet. (Image 2)
4. Remove heat-retaining clothing. (Image 3)
5. Wet the patient down and fan him or her, or immerse the patient in cool water.
6. Place ice packs on the patient's head, back of the neck, armpits, palms of the hands, soles of the feet and groin. (Image 4)
7. Hydrate well with lots of water, a diluted sports drink or oral rehydration solution, but only if the patient is conscious enough to hold a cup and drink unassisted. (Image 5)
8. Monitor body temperature frequently, keeping careful notes on how long the patient remains at a given temperature. Transfer these notes when you transfer care
9. Evacuate immediately, continually monitoring and writing down the patient's body temperature.


  • A person suffering from heatstroke is likely to have an unstable body temperature even after the body has cooled, so be alert for either hypothermia or an escalating temperature.
  • If you've immersed the person in cool water, remove him or her and fan once body temperature reaches 102 degrees or lower.


  • Evacuate immediately, even if the person appears to be recovering.
  • Don't administer heat-reducing medications.
  • Don't use salt tablets to rehydrate, as these are too concentrated. Use oral rehydration salts instead.

    Overall Warnings:

  • If symptoms persist or if you have specific medical conditions or concerns, please contact a physician.
  • This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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