Random ::Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion, Which?::

So what exactly is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion?  This I am researching because I believe I had one or the other just yesterday.  So I am googling it right now…

Here is the definitions I was able to find of heatstroke and heat exhaustion:


This condition occurs when the body is unable to cool its core temperature sufficiently and overheats. It is manifest in two distinct ways:-

Heat Exhaustion

Heat Stroke

These are both the result of hot weather or working in hot conditions. Heat stroke can be fatal and is often the result of heat exhaustion.

 Heat exhaustion is characterised by:

  • Headache dizziness and nausea

  • Cramps in the limbs and/or abdomen

  • Profuse sweating with pale, clammy skin

  • Rapid, weak breathing and pulse

When someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, try to cool them down by removing them from direct sunlight into the shade. Lie them down and apply lukewarm (not cold) water with a sponge or similar. They should be encouraged to drink as much rehydration solution as they can take. Allow them to rest until they fully recover, monitoring closely for any signs of deterioration. 

Heat stroke is a serious condition caused by failure of the body’s natural thermostat resulting in an inability to cool itself down by normal means. It usually occurs as a result of exposure to very hot surroundings. The onset can be sudden, resulting in unconsciousness in a matter of minutes. Medical assistance should be sought as soon as possible.The main signs of heat stroke are:

  • Headache, dizziness, confusion & restlessness

  • Hot, flushed, dry skin due to failure of sweating mechanism

  • Full, bounding pulse

  • Body temperature above 40C

  • Rapid deterioration in the level of response

When heat stroke occurs the main priority is to cool the patient down as quickly as possible but never use ice or very cold water to avoid thermal shock which could kill them.Remove the patient from any heat source and wrap them in a cool, wet sheet and keep them well ventilated. Make sure the sheet remains wet. Monitor closely for signs of cardio-respiratory failure and be prepared to resuscitate if necessary. When the temperature drops below 38C the wet sheet can be removed but if their temperature begins to rise again, replace it and continue as before.”

Currently the heat wave in Jordan (for all I know this is normal summer weather but to me its VERY HOT) is making it harder and harder to be able to carry on the normal busy life I lead.  I can’t stand the heat (mom says its because of our Nordic blood) and having to be out at the  non ACed University everyday from eight thirty in the morning till two in the afternoon and then having work at another non air conditioned place from two till six is very taxing.   I love my busy life but I absolutely hate this heat.  And everything had to catch up with me yesterday in the form of heat exhaustion.   So if you are having a heat wave in your area please do take the necessary precaustions.  I was lucky to have my friends around me who knew what to do.  Keep yourself in as cool an area as possible and if that is not possible keep yourself hydrated as much as possible. 


Sidenote: My friend, Amino, was so ‘excited by the prospect of conducting a funeral’ (her exact words) for me (she thought I was going to die yesterday) and was disappointed when I got better so she just asked me to let anyone who is planning on dieing anytime soon to contact her so that she can get her chance of planning a funeral…however she wanted me to add a note that she doesn’t encourage suicide.


3 Responses to “Random ::Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion, Which?::”

  1. No, if you had a heat stroke you would probably paralyzed or some other horrble effect from having one.

    Here in the US we are having an abnormal heat wave. Every year it gets hotter, I can tell because our normally fridgid winter is hot! I have started saying “Damn you global warming and your human benefactors!” out loud in public areas. I also stare at owners of SUVs to freak them out.

  2. wow Amino.. Some of the people here need a taist of your medison honestly.

  3. OMG fabfa you need to start working on your spelling…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s