Heat stroke treatment should involve cooling first, transport secondary according to an expert panel’s report published in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care. The proposition of “cool first, transport second” varies from the standard practice of calling 911 and transferring to a hospital at the earliest.

Jolie C. Holschen, MD, FACEP, a Loyola Medicine emergency medicine physician and co-author of the expert panel’s consensus statement said that when heat stroke occurs, the conclusive care is cooling which may be executed instantly onsite before transport.

The exercise stroke is one of the prime causes for death in athletes. It can occur in cooler temperatures but mostly takes place in summers when there is a severe heat, during events such as marathons and preseason football practices. The signs that athletes show are central nervous system disruptions such as uncertainty, impatience, or illogical behavior which can result in disintegration, or dissipation of consciousness.  There is a common misunderstanding that the sweating may have ceased, possess hot skin or be unconscious but none of these indicators are needed for heat stroke.

The Korey Stringer Institute arranged a conglomeration of national experts in emergency medicine and sports medicine to discern foremost implementations for healing exertional heat stroke in prehospital settings. The institute is named after a Minnesota Viking football player who expired from heat stroke during a humid training camp.

The panel endorsed swiftly cooling the body to less than 104.5 degrees F within 30 minutes of the time of falling. Cooling should cease once the body temperature drops to about 101.5 degrees F.