Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, WI – As we enter the summer months and start getting back to our typical summer activities like swimming, yard work, golf and many others we need to be cautious of heatstroke. HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals recommend taking the following measures to prevent heatstroke, which could cause serious complications or death:
- Wear loose fitting clothes – Loose fitting clothes allow your body to cool properly
- Drink plenty of fluids – Staying hydrated will help you maintain a normal body temperature and will help your body sweat.
- Protect yourself against sunburn – Use sunscreen, reapplying every two hours, as well as hats and sunglasses to protect against sunburns. Sit under the shade from time to time.
- Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day – Try to schedule outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or the evening. The hottest part of the day is generally 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Heatstroke can require emergency treatment to prevent serious complications or death, especially for those who are most vulnerable such as infants and children, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight and people who are on certain medications. If you suspect someone is experiencing a heatstroke, call 911 or seek medical assistance immediately.
Heatstroke signs and symptoms include:
- High body temperature – The main sign of heatstroke is a core body temperature of 104 degrees or higher.
- Altered mental state or behavior – If a person is confused, agitated, slurring their speech, irritable, delirious or experiences a seizure and they have been in a hot environment, suspect heatstroke.
- Nausea and vomiting – Vomiting may occur.
- Flushed skin – An increase in body temperature can lead to skin turning red.
- Rapid breathing – Breathing may become rapid and shallow.
- Racing heart rate – When a person experiences heatstroke, the heart works overtime to help cool the body, therefore increasing the heartrate.
- Headache – Heatstroke can cause a throbbing headache.
The emergency departments at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 900 W. Clairemont Ave. in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, 2661 Hwy I in Chippewa Falls are open 24/7 if you suspect heatstroke is occurring and symptoms are not improving.
For more information about heat-related illnesses, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.