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Prevention and Treatment of Heat Related Illness

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Prevention and Treatment of Heat Related Illness

Post  Paleolithic on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:02 pm

Causes of Heat-related Illnesses
-Dehydration and salt loss from perspiration
-Severe dehydration where person is no longer able to sweat
-Humidity, sweat cannot evaporate off the skin. (Causing the inability to regulate body temperature through evaporative properties)

Prevention entails staying well-hydrated, having enough salt, avoiding overexertion in the heat and humid environments.(Don’t do your hardest work in the middle of the day when it is the hottest, go for the morning or later at night when it’s cooler)

Prevention
remain hydrated and get enough salt intake.
Keep an eye on your buddies to make sure they’re getting enough water and salts, make sure they’re still sweating (you too)
Be conscious of weather, humidity, heat, etc

Signs of Dehydration
Thirst: this is the first sign that you are dehydrated. If you are thirsty, you need water.
Irritability: I’d also like to add, “doing stupid things”. If people are getting angry or doing a lot of stupid things and that is not their normal mode of operations, sit them down and get them some water. Also, they very well may have low blood sugar. Get them some food. I carry little single use Kool-Aid pouches with me for just that reason when I lead groups or some tootsie rolls.
Dark urine
headache with mild nausea

Treatment
re-hydrate! Immediately!
1 liter of water + 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Survival gatorade!
keep hydrating long term.

Heat Cramps
legs are usually what cramps up and is typically caused by dehydration and electrolyte depletion.
Rehydrate will fix this, get diluted electrolytes.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion occurs when you are dehydrated combined with a lack of electrolytes.

the signs of heat exhaustion are very similar to shock. You may notice fatigue, perhaps dizziness. Their heart rate will be increased as well as their breathing (their body is trying to cool down and it’s not work, just like making your computer over heat by covering the fan. It will either catch fire or shut down, just like you…well, not really on fire…) Skin is often pale or clammy. They will be very thirsty, remember that thirst is the first sign of dehydration! Prevent this at all by keeping well-hydrated in the first place!

Treatment of Heat Exhaustion
Rest in a cool place, preferably in some shade! Get on the ground, hopefully the cool earth will help in taking away some heat. Strip down! Get rid of that shirt, perhaps your pants, anything that’s causing you to retain too much heat. If you can, get wet or get the victim wet, this will help cool due to evaporation. (Be CAREFUL! You can get cold really really fast! You don’t want to go from heat stroke to hypothermia! You CAN very EASILY become hypothermic in the middle of Summer! All is required is a 2 degree drop in core body temperature and you are in trouble!) Get a bandanna or that excess shirt you took of wet and put it on your forehead or the back of your neck. Start replacing those lost fluids and electrolytes with the solution I mentioned above (1 liter water + 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar). Recovery should take about 6-8 hours, cautiously resume activity after this period of time.

Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency folks. If you do not immediately treat heat stroke it can very easily progress to coma and death. Even with treatment, permanent disability may occur.

Two methods of getting heat stroke are through dehydration without replacing lost fluids and your sweating mechanism fails, your body temp will rise rapidly as well as exertion in too high a humidity causing the inability for sweat to evaporate.

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include the skin being red, hot, and very well may be dry because they can’t sweat! You know when you or someone else should be sweating! Their LOC (level of consciousness) will change and may experience hallucinations (weird!) confusion and agitation (remember what I said before! People start acting weird get them some water and sugar!).The victim may have seizures; increased heart rate and increased respiration is again a sign. If the person is struck with heat stroke due to exertion, they may very well be sweaty, remember that humidity may prevent the evaporation of sweat so keep this in mind!

Treatment of Heat Stroke
Get them out of the heat and the sun!!!! They need to be cooled immediately by soaking with water and fanning to accelerate evaporation. Spray them with a hose if you’ve gotta! Just cool them down! (Again! You do not want to make the victim hypothermic!). Massaging the limbs will encourage heat loss. Another thing with cooling the victim down, you do not want to cool them so fast that they start shivering! Shivering produces heat and will be counter productive to saving them. Hydrate once conscious and DO NOT allow them to exercise or exert themselves, from here on out they need to just lay back while you evacuate them. They need to be carried out of the field.
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Paleolithic
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Re: Prevention and Treatment of Heat Related Illness

Post  andrew jackson on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:12 pm

Without boring you guys with the details I have become so dehydrated my vision was blurred and I did have hallucinations as well. It was a bad day. My brain wasn't cooking yet but was having a lot of trouble thinking straight.

I do not reccomend ending up like that. If it doesn't kill you, poor decisions while like that will.

Hydration is not to be underestimated.

Good thread.

So you just made a thread about drinking water...so when do we get the one a out changing our socks?

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