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Common causes of heat exhaustion include:
- Hot, sunny, humid weather
- Physical exertion, especially in hot, humid weather
- Due to impaired thermoregulation, elderly people and infants can get serious heat illness even at rest, if the weather outside is hot and humid, and they are not getting enough cool air.
- Some drugs, such as diuretics, antihistamines, beta-blockers, alcohol, ecstasy, and amphetamines can cause an increase in the risk of heat exhaustion.
Especially during physical exertion, risk factors for heat exhaustion include:
- Wearing dark, padded, or insulated clothing; hats; and/or helmets (for example, football pads or turnout gear)
- Having a higher percentage of body fat
- Some medications, like beta blockers and antipsychotic medicines
Signs and symptoms
- Moving the person to a cool place
- Having the patient take off extra layers of clothes
- Cooling the patient down by fanning them and putting wet towels on their body
- Having them lie down and put their feet up if they are feeling dizzy
- Having them drink water or sports drinks – but only if they are awake, not confused nor vomiting
- Turning the person on their side if they are vomiting
Emergency medical treatment
- Give them supplemental oxygen
- Give them intravenous fluids and electrolytes if they are too confused to drink and/or are vomiting
- "Heat Injury and Heat Exhaustion". www.orthoinfo.aaos.org. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. July 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
- "Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke". www.nhs.uk. National Health Service of the United Kingdom. June 11, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
- Jacklitsch, Brenda L. (June 29, 2011). "Summer Heat Can Be Deadly for Outdoor Workers". NIOSH: Workplace Safety and Health. Medscape and NIOSH.
- Mistovich, Joseph J.; Karren, Keith J.; Hafen, Brent (July 18, 2013). Prehospital Emergency Care (10 ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0133369137.