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First Aid


Heat exhaustion can be a problem in New Zealand. Learn about the signs and treatment of hyperthermia.


Hyperthermia occurs when the body's core temperature rises excessively and can be life-threatening when the core temperature exceeds 40˚ Celsius.

Three stages characterise hyperthermia - heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke - the latter being the most serious.

Signs and symptoms of hyperthermia are:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Thirst
  • Coordination issues
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid pulse

The treatment for a person with hypothermia is as follows:

  • Move the person to a cool, shaded, well‐ventilated area.
  • Sit them down.
  • Loosen or remove excess clothing such as a wetsuit.
  • Give the person fluids such as a cold drink.
  • Use cold water to cool the person down.
  • Contact professional emergency services if the patient's condition does not rapidly improve.

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