Summers in Missouri can be extremely hot. Unfortunately, not everyone works inside in the air conditioning. Many workers have to stay outside in the heat while they perform physically-demanding jobs like road construction, landscaping, or farming. Knowing what heat stroke is and what it looks like when someone develops it can save a life.
If you suffer heat stroke while on the job, you can benefit from workers’ compensation.
What is Heat Stroke?
Heat stroke is a medical condition that happens when your body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature fails.
Typically, when you get hot or physically exert yourself, you break into a sweat. The water on your skin cools your body when it evaporates.
However, if you get too hot, you cannot sweat quickly enough to keep your body’s temperature under control. Your internal temperature can also get out of control if you do not drink enough fluids to replenish the fluids you lose by sweating, or if you are wearing so much clothing that your sweat gets soaked up before it can cool you down. Getting sunburned can make things worse because it heats up your skin and closes your pores, reducing the amount you sweat and reducing its effectiveness.
When your body loses its ability to regulate its temperature, it gets hotter, which only makes things worse. In extreme cases of heat stroke, your internal temperature can get over 104 F, which can damage your brain, heart, kidneys, and other muscles.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
The best way to prevent heat stroke from getting too bad is to get out of the heat and cool down. If your internal temperature is already too high, getting prompt medical attention is essential.
Both of these require understanding the symptoms of heat stroke, so you can realize what is happening and take the proper precautions. Here is what to look for:
- Confusion or lightheadedness
- Vision problems, including double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Skin that is red or flushed, and that is hot to the touch
- Rapid heart rate
- Strange sweating patterns, including a sudden inability to sweat
Treating Heat Stroke
As soon as the symptoms of heat stroke show themselves, you need to cool down before things get worse. This involves:
- Getting out of the sun and into the shade or indoors
- Taking off as much clothing as possible
- Drinking lots of water
- Taking a cool shower or bath
- Placing wet towels or ice packs on your head, neck, armpits, wrists, and thighs so they can cool down major arteries
If the condition does not get better quickly, the emergency room is the next step.
St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
If you suffer heat stroke while on the job and miss work, you can benefit from workers’ compensation. Making use of your rights is especially important if your condition gets worse and you need medical treatment over a longer period of time.