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Join date : 2010-08-28
Location : Florida

PostSubject: Heat Casualties   Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:50 pm

Hey folks. Its very simple. We live in a state where it gets really really hot in the summer time. Please take a moment to read this:

(1) HEAT EXHAUSTION: Occurs when a person cannot sweat enough to cool the body, generally when working in hot weather and not drinking enough liquids
to replace the lost liquids.

Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, headache, dizziness, or nausea, and the skin is pale, cool, and moist. Mild heat exhaustion does not cause a decrease in a person's mental alertness, but it may occasionally cause fainting.

First Aid/Treatment: Mild cases of heat exhaustion usually can be treated at home:

1) Stop your activity, and rest.
2) Get out of direct sunlight and lie down in a cooler environment. Elevate your feet. Remove all unnecessary clothing.
3) Cool down by applying cool compresses or having a fan blow on you. Place ice bags under your arms and in your groin area, where large blood vessels lie close to the skin surface, to cool down quickly.
4) Drink rehydration drinks, juices, or water to replace fluids. Drinks such as sports drinks that contain electrolytes work best. Drink 2qt of cool fluids over 2 to 4 hours.
5) Rest for 24 hours, and continue fluid replacement with a rehydration drink. Rest from any strenuous physical activity for 1 to 3 days.


(2) HEAT STROKE: Occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and body temperature continues to rise, often to 105F or higher. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. It can be life-threatening or cause serious long-term problems.

Symptoms: Unconsciousness for longer than a few seconds, confusion, severe restlessness, anxiety, convulsion (seizure), moderate to severe difficulty breathing, fast heart rate, sweating that may be heavy or may have stopped, skin that may be red, hot, and dry.

First Aid/Treatment: Emergency first aid for heatstroke is needed immediately because this condition is life-threatening. After calling 911 or other emergency medical services, follow these first aid steps:

1) Move the person into a cool place, out of direct sunlight.
2) Remove the person's unnecessary clothing and place the person on his or her side to expose as much skin surface to the air as possible.
3) Cool the person's entire body by sponging or spraying cool (not cold) water and fan the person to lower the person's body temperature. Watch for signs of rapidly progressing heatstroke.
4) If available, apply ice packs on the groin, neck, and armpits, where large blood vessels lie close to the skin surface. Do not immerse the person in an ice bath.
5) Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen to reduce a high body temperature that can occur with heatstroke. These medicines may cause problems because of the body's response to heatstroke.
6) If the person is awake and alert enough to swallow, give the person fluids [32fl oz to 64fl oz over 1 to 2 hours] for hydration. Most people with heatstroke have an altered level of consciousness and cannot safely be given fluids to drink. You may have to help. Make sure the person is sitting up enough so that he or she does not choke.


PREVENTION of Heat Related Illness:
1. Practice heat safety measures when you are physically active in hot weather. Avoid strenuous activity in hot, humid weather or during the hottest part of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Use caution during your physical activity in the heat if you have health risks. Be aware that when the outdoor humidity is greater than 75%, the body's ability to lose heat by sweating is decreased.
2. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you are active.
3. Drink on schedule. Two hours before exercising, drink 24fl oz of fluid.
Drink 16fl oz of fluid 15 minutes before exercising. Continue drinking 8fl oz of fluid every 15 minutes while exercising. Drink rehydration drinks or sports drinks which are absorbed quickly as water but also replace sugar, sodium, and other nutrients. Eat fruits and vegetables to replace nutrients.
4. Do not spend much time in the sun. If possible, exercise or work outside during the cooler times of the day. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing in hot weather, so your skin can cool through evaporation. Wear a wide-brimmed hat for shade.
5. Stay cool as much as possible. Take frequent breaks in the shade, by a fan, or in air-conditioning. Cool your skin by spraying water over your body.
6. If you have to stand for any length of time in a hot environment, flex your leg muscles often while standing. This prevents blood from pooling in your lower legs, which can lead to fainting.
7. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol. They increase blood flow to the skin and increase your risk of dehydration.

Let's stay cool and hydrated in the field!
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