Steven Carter, Paramedic, American Medical Response
High temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses, not just for hikers, but for city dwellers. Here are the three main types of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them:
Heat Cramps – Caused by exertion and losing a lot of water and salt through sweating. After the exertion, cramps develop in arms, legs and abs. It’s easily treated. “Rest and hydration is the best way to go with heat cramps,” says paramedic Steven Carter.
Heat Exhaustion – If untreated, heat exhaustion could lead to heat stroke. Carter says “Signs of heat exhaustion include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, pale, clammy skin, rapid pulse and low blood pressure.” According to Web MD, the cure for heat exhaustion is to drink plenty of fluid, remove tight or unnecessary clothing, and apply other cooling measures.
Heat Stroke – This is medical emergency and can cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Symptoms include a headache, dizziness and rapid heartbeat. If heat stroke is suspected, call 911. While waiting for help, get the person to a cool place and apply cooling strategies like icepacks.