What to do if someone passes out from heat exhaustion

July 17, 2013 6:56:03 PM PDT
Heat exhaustion can sneak up on anyone. From running around to ending up on the ground.

The first step is to call 911, then prop their feet up -get blood flow to the brain.

"Whatever you have make a little leg lift elevate the feet like so," said Dr. Kevin Baumlin.

Then ask for ice packs. Put them in the armpits and on the crease of the thigh and around the neck, that's where major blood vessels are close to the skin.

"There's a lot of blood flow there -it'll more rapidly reduce your body temperature," adds Dr. Baumlin.

It also helps to loosen their clothing and help them sip on cold water, but only if they're able to, don't force it.

In the emergency room doctors also use IV fluids and cooling blankets to cool the body. But as vice chairman of the emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Baumlin wants you to stay out of the ER.

"We want you to recognize before someone faints or collapses, if they say I feel weak, I feel very dizzy they become dry instead of sweaty and they change their behavior those are signs to look out for that someone might be in trouble," he adds.

For children, the earliest sign of heat exhaustion is if they're just not acting like themselves.

And for kids and adults, a reminder that going in to the water is not a substitute for drinking water.

Often people will go in the ocean in the pool--you cool off feel better but then forget to drink water.