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Summer Sun: Heat-Related Safety

Summer is one of the best seasons, packed full of longer days and lots of sunshine. However, it’s important to remember there’s also the increased chance of heat related injury and ailment. Albuquerque ER & Hospital understands that in the midst of all the fun, it can be easy to forget sunblock for a day at the beach or to rehydrate after a long hike. Make sure you’re prepared for your best summer yet by learning which ailments to protect yourself against.

Learn with us about the most serious heat related ailments and injuries as well as their symptoms. If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention at an emergency facility like Albuquerque ER & Hospital.

Heat Syncope or Fainting

Our bodies are like fine-tuned machines, the gears ticking and constantly working. When we become overheated or severely dehydrated, our vessels begin to dilate in an effort to cool our bodies. If our bodies fail to cool quickly enough, the vessels continue to dilate and constrict blood flow to the brain. This temporary constriction of blood to the brain causes fainting and should be taken very seriously. Watch for these symptoms to stop you or a loved one from fainting:

  • Loss of color or flushed, red cheeks
  • Profusely sweating or cold sweats
  • Dizziness or sudden sleepiness
  • Lightheaded feeling or vision begins to black out

While most individuals who experience heat syncope will recover quickly after rest and fluids, others may have lingering symptoms from injuries acquired during their fall. For this reason, it’s important to stay hydrated and take rests in cool, shaded areas when participating in strenuous physical activities, like hiking or swimming.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke isn’t only a serious condition – it can be life threatening if not immediately treated by a physician. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and up to 104 degrees. Milder cases can usually be managed easily with rest and liquids. Severe cases often require short hospital stays to monitor the body and ensure organs don’t start failing. If you or a loved one experience the symptoms listed below, immediately seek the attention of an emergency physician.

  • Vomiting or nausea 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Delirium or altered mental state – this can include confusion, agitation, sleepiness, slurred speech and even seizures.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency – call 911 immediately if you’re with anyone who experiences any of these symptoms.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion often appears as a precursor to more serious heat-related ailments, like heat stroke or fainting. If you’re able to identify the symptoms of heat exhaustion early enough, you can stop the condition from escalating any further. Watch out for these symptoms listed below and seek the attention of a physician for further monitoring and care.

  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Cramping muscles
  • Rashes, bright red bumps that often appear on the chest, arms and, neck
  • Nausea

Symptoms of heat exhaustion are similar to heat stroke so it’s important to always call 911 if you’re unsure about the severity of the condition.

Don’t sweat these heat related injuries and ailments by yourself – make sure to visit a physician as soon as possible before your condition potentially worsens. Albuquerque ER & Hospital wants you and your loved ones to have a fun and safe summer!

Albuquerque ER & Hospital experienced staff is here to provide you with the utmost quality of services to help you and your family. In the case of any medical emergency, Albuquerque ER & Hospital is here 24/7, 365 to provide compassionate, concierge-level emergency care to all patients.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Albuquerque ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Albuquerque ER & Hospital, or any one of our concierge-level, medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.