Heat stroke can sneak up and kill
Summer sun can be fun, but it also can be lethal|
| Deadly heat facts:|
Heat stroke kills more than 10%
of its victims
Source: Mississippi State Univ.
U.S. heat-related deaths:
1995 - 1,021
1996 - 36
1997 - 81
Source: National Weather Service
Average annual heat-related deaths:
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
More died from heat-related causes in 1995 than
from any other natural disaster in the U.S.
Source: National Weather Service
In the summer of 1980, a heat
wave resulted in the deaths of 1,700 people in the U.S.
In 1980, Dallas had 42
consecutive days of 100+ temperatures
Source: National Climatic Data Center
Learn to recognize warning signs
July 28, 1999
Web posted at: 10:40 PM EDT
From Health Correspondent Holly Firfer
(CNN) -- As the nation continues to swelter in the
unrelenting summer sun, emergency rooms are filling with
people suffering from two dangerous conditions: Heat
exhaustion and heat stroke.
Doctors fear that the death toll, now in the dozens, will
continue to rise with the temperatures if people don't learn
to recognize the danger signs and find some relief from the
"A lot of people have a lot of potential for ignoring the
early signs -- thirst or excessive surface temperature -- or
they're doing something to take their minds off of it," said
Dr. Crawford Barnett.
The body cools itself off by sweating, but in extreme heat
such as the Eastern third of the country has been
experiencing, sweating isn't enough to protect your body.
Getting plenty of liquids and spending limited time outside
are crucial to your well-being.
Heat exhaustion is the early sign that the body needs to
Symptoms of heat exhaustion
"Some folks get nauseous, have body cramping -- they will get
lightheaded and get a sense of fatigue," said Dr. William
Jackson Jr. of the American College of Emergency Room
Surprisingly, if you checked with a thermometer, the body
temperature could be near normal.
Other symptoms include: Paleness, headaches, cool and moist
skin, fast and shallow breathing, and a fast -- but weak --
"The body says, we're getting low on fluid, we need fluid for
circulation, the brain, the kidneys and other critical areas.
Therefore we are going to shut down the sweating," said
"So you lose that area of being able to decrease ... get rid
of heat and therefore begin to accumulate heat even faster,"
the doctor warned.
If the symptoms are recognized, the victim usually recovers
by resting and drinking fluids.
Heat stroke in just 10 minutes
If the symptoms are ignored, the victim can develop
potentially lethal heat stroke.
The warning signs include an extremely high body temperature
-- 103 degrees or higher -- hot and dry skin; a rapid, strong
pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea or vomiting;
confusion and unconsciousness.
Heat stroke can happen within 10 to 15 minutes of the first
If victims don't get emergency treatment immediately to bring
down their body temperature, they can suffer permanent
damage to their internal organs or even die.
Doctors urge everyone in hot climates to drink water -- even
when you are not thirsty -- and to avoid alcohol and
And, keep in mind, children and the elderly are at most risk
to succumbing to the heat.
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July 26, 1999
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July 20, 1999
Northeast swelters in a record-setting July
July 14, 1999
Heat wave eases; New York, other cities plagued by blackouts
July 7, 1999
Sizzling Northeast to get a few degrees of relief
July 6, 1999
Triple whammy for farmers: Drought, heat, low prices
July 5, 1999
National Weather Service
Heat Wave and Heat Index Page
American Red Cross
Disaster Services - Heat Waves
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