Heat exhaustion is a condition where a person who has stopped exercising on a hot day, suddenly becomes listless, weak and dizzy. The person has a rapid pulse and may be nauseous or vomit. Unlike heatstroke, the body core temperature rises to over 38 degrees Celsius, but never exceeds 40 degrees Celsius, and mental status and behaviour are normal.
Heat exhaustion occurs when there is an excessive drop in blood pressure due to the pooling of blood in the lower limbs, following exercise. Despite its name, heat exhaustion is not directly related to heat and is no longer considered as the first step towards the development of heatstroke.
- Lay the person on his back and elevate his legs and pelvis.
- Give fluids to drink if the person is thirsty. Heat exhaustion is not directly related to dehydration.
- Following home treatment, recovery is usually rapid.