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How to tell the difference between heat exhaustion and a heat stroke

With a potential heat wave on the way, make sure you know the symptoms of a dangerous heat stroke.

Remember winter? A lot of us were starting to doubt we'd ever see sun again.

But our friend is back and she's comin' in hot.

KARE 11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says if it gets hotter than 92 degrees this weekend, it would be the hottest it's been since September 15, 2018.

Before you go running out the door, it's important to know the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be deadly.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Faint
  • Dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cool, pale, clammy Skin
  • Nausea
  • Weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps

Symptoms of heat stroke:

  • Throbbing headache
  • No sweating
  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • Body temperature above 103 degrees
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Lose consciousness

Dr. Doug Brunette, Senior Medical Director for Emergency and Trauma Services at Hennepin Healthcare, says to immediately seek medical attention when you notice the signs of heat stroke.

"The way we treat them is we cool them down as rapidly as possible with water, ice packs, fans and then supportive critical care because those patients are critically ill at that point," Brunette said.

He says people with heat exhaustion often need to be medically treated as well.

"Those patients would come into the emergency department," Brunette said. "We put an IV in, give them 1 or 2 liters of saline solution and maybe something for their nausea, and we'll get them feeling better that way."

Other safety tips include getting yourself or others to a cool, air-conditioned place, drinking water, taking a cool shower or using a cold compress.

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