Saturday, December 11, 2010
Heat Related Injuries And Treatment
Heat stroke is the most severe of all heat-related illness and could be life threatening.
The body's cooling fails due to excessive humidity, extreme heat, prolonged activity in the hot sun. Internal body temperature rises, leading to stroke.
Body temperature, greater than 104 deg F
Hot dry skin
Skin is moist, if stroke is due to exertion
Rapid / shallow breathing
Absence of sweating
Fluctuating blood pressure
Lack of consciousness / coma
Remove the person to a shady place. Cool the person by sponging with wet towel and apply ice packs in armpits and groin areas if available. Give water with electrolyte, fruit / vegetable juice, or plain water with salt (1 tsp per quart of water). Allow victim to rest.
Heat exhaustion is a heat related disorder. The loss of fluids takes place decreasing blood flow to vital organs, leading to shock.
Heat exhaustion is caused by excessive heat, increased by overexertion, sweating, and hot, humid climate.
Weakness / dizziness
Headache / nausea
Cold / moist skin
Dry tongue / thirst
Loss of appetite
Rapid / weak heart beat
Fast / shallow breathing
The body needs to be cooled down. Remove the person to a shady place and loosen tight-fitting clothing and remove extra clothes. Cool the person by sponging with wet cloth or towel.
The victim needs to be rehydrated using fluids containing electrolytes such as sports drinks or fruit and vegetable juices. Plain water with a little bit of salt and sugar can be substituted in a survival situation if available. Give fluid every 15-20 minutes. Avoid coffee and alcohol.
Seek professional medical assistance if the symptoms don't clear up in 30 minutes. Seek emergency help in case of physical collapse or loss of consciousness.
Heat cramps are involuntary muscle spasms. They are caused by a deficiency of water and sodium in the body. Heat cramps are painful, may be severe and prolonged.
Heavy exercising in hot weather causes excessive sweating which leads to electrolyte deficiency resulting in muscle cramps.
Heat cramps are the least serious of all heat injuries. It is a warning sign for heat exhaustion.
Muscles most affected are the voluntary muscles of:
Heat Cramps are caused by:
Loss of body salts
Poor body condition
Rest briefly and cool down. Apply manual pressure and massage to the affected muscle areas. Drink one quart of water with one teaspoon of salt. Drink some clear juice or electrolyte-containing sports drink if available. Practice gentle stretching exercise of the affected muscle. Seek medical help if the cramps remain after 1 hour. Heat cramps usually improves with an electrolyte drink, cool shade and rest.
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!