Sunstroke. Coup de Soleil.
Sunstroke results from the exposure of the body to excessive heat in the form of high temperature either of the sun's heat, from a furnace, or an exceedingly hot day from heat without direct exposure from the sun. There are two varieties, one known as heat exhaustion, where the temperature of the person's body is only slightly elevated, if at all, the other, and the more common one "heat stroke" or "sun stroke" in which the temperature of the body is raised many degrees. The symptoms are headache, dizziness and sometimes difficult breathing and thirst in the earlier stages, which if not recognized and means taken to prevent more serious troubles, at once go into unconsciousness, possibly accompanied by convulsions and spasms. If the fever cannot be reduced a serious condition occurs, followed probably by death inside of twenty four hours. Even an improvement may be followed later by a fatal meningitis. Persons who have once had sunstroke are also greatly afflicted by high temperatures which is intensified if the air is moist. It is needless to add a large portion of these cases die.
Treatment. As is known the normal temperature is 981 degrees and the bath is used to reduce the temperature as near this as possible. Strip the patient, lay him flat on the floor or low bed and if possible apply ice; ice water or even a stream of cold water from a hose may be applied over the body, but the circulation must be kept up by an attendant rubbing the surface of the body to produce reaction so that the cooling of the body will be general and not entirely on the surface, as the congestion of the body with heated blood which would be caused if the rubbing was omitted would kill the patient. Ice should be applied to the head by means of an ice bag or some other means. Constant care should be taken that these measures while strenuous, should not be carried too far when the temperature once begins to drop, as when once started the patient immediately goes into collapse from the fever dropping too rapidly. Heart stimulants such as teaspoonful of aromatic spirits of ammonia with twenty drops of compound spirits of ether or strychnia in one thirtieth grain doses may be given to support the heart. Alcohol should be avoided as it will only increase the congestion in the head; some good cathartic, as citrate of magnesia, should be given and the headache which often follows may be relieved by a twenty grain dose of bromide with five grains of phenacetine added; the recurrence of high temperature should be watched for as it very often occurs, when cold baths will be again required, as a relapse is not at all uncommon.
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