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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com

July 26, 2010

Safety Tip: Identify and Treat Heatstroke

Most of the U.S. is experiencing higher-than-average summer temperatures, increasing the risk of heatstroke for outdoor workers and those in hot environments indoors. Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic on identifying and treating heatstroke.

The main sign of heatstroke is a markedly elevated body temperature with changes in mental status ranging from personality changes to confusion and coma. Skin may be hot and dry, although if heatstroke is caused by exertion the skin may be moist.

Other signs and symptoms may include:
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid and shallow breathing
  • Elevated or lowered blood pressure
  • Cessation of sweating
  • Irritability, confusion or unconsciousness
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fainting, which may be the first sign in older people
If you suspect heatstroke:
  • Move the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned space.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical help.
  • Cool the person by covering him or her with damp sheets or by spraying with cool water. Direct air onto the person with a fan or newspaper.
  • Have the person drink cool water or other nonalcoholic beverage without caffeine, if he or she is able.

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