Heat emergencies...

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dan
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Heat emergencies...

Postby dan » Fri May 28, 2010 11:33 pm

Its that time of year again... We should be aware of heat related emergencies and how to deal with them for several reasons. When camping, scouting, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc.. You may start experiencing signs of heat related issues, or see them in your comrades, or other people around you. Its in everybody's best interest for you to recognize and be capable of dealing with the different types of heat related emergency...

Heat emergencies

Shock Heat emergencies fall into three categories of increasing severity: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.

Considerations
Heat illnesses are easily preventable by taking precautions in hot weather.

Children, elderly, and obese people have a higher risk of developing heat illness. People taking certain medications or drinking alcohol also have a higher risk. However, even a top athlete in superb condition can succumb to heat illness if he or she ignores the warning signs.

If the problem isn't addressed, heat cramps (caused by loss of salt from heavy sweating) can lead to heat exhaustion (caused by dehydration), which can progress to heatstroke. Heatstroke, the most serious of the three, can cause shock, brain damage, organ failure, and even death.

Causes
Heat emergencies are caused by prolonged exposure to extreme heat. The following are common causes of heat emergencies:

Alcohol use
Dehydration
Heart disease
High temperatures or humidity
Medications such as diuretics, neuroleptics, phenothiazines, and anticholinergics
Prolonged or excessive exercise
Sweat gland problems
Too much clothing
Symptoms
The early symptoms of heat illness include:

Profuse sweating
Fatigue
Thirst
Muscle cramps
Later symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

Headache
Dizziness and lightheadedness
Weakness
Nausea and vomiting
Cool, moist skin
Dark urine
The symptoms of heatstroke include:

Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
Irrational behavior
Extreme confusion
Dry, hot, and red skin
Rapid, shallow breathing
Rapid, weak pulse
Seizures
Unconsciousness
First Aid
Have the person lie down in a cool place. Raise the person's feet about 12 inches.
Apply cool, wet cloths (or cool water directly) to the person's skin and use a fan to lower body temperature. Place cold compresses on the person's neck, groin, and armpits.
If alert, give the person beverages to sip (such as Gatorade), or make a salted drink by adding a teaspoon of salt per quart of water. Give a half cup every 15 minutes. Cool water will do if salt beverages are not available.
For muscle cramps, give beverages as above and massage affected muscles gently, but firmly, until they relax.
If the person shows signs of shock (bluish lips and fingernails and decreased alertness), starts having seizures, or loses consciousness, call 911 and give first aid as needed.
DO NOT
Do NOT underestimate the seriousness of heat illness, especially if the person is a child, elderly, or injured.
Do NOT give the person medications that are used to treat fever (such as aspirin or acetaminophen). They will not help, and they may be harmful.
Do NOT give the person salt tablets.
Do NOT give the person liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. They will interfere with the body's ability to control its internal temperature.
Do NOT use alcohol rubs on the person's skin.
Do NOT give the person anything by mouth (not even salted drinks) if the person is vomiting or unconscious.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call 911 if:

The person loses consciousness at any time.
There is any other change in the person's alertness (for example, confusion or seizures).
The person has a fever over 102 °F.
Other symptoms of heatstroke are present (like rapid pulse or rapid breathing).
The person's condition does not improve, or worsens despite treatment.
Prevention
Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in hot weather.
Rest frequently and seek shade when possible.
Avoid exercise or strenuous physical activity outside during hot or humid weather.
Drink plenty of fluids every day. Drink more fluids before, during, and after physical activity.
Be especially careful to avoid overheating if you are taking drugs that impair heat regulation, or if you are overweight or elderly.
Be careful of hot cars in the summer. Allow the car to cool off before getting in.
Alternative Names
Heatstroke

References
Jardine DS. Heat illness and heat stroke. Pediatr Rev. 2007;28(7):249-258.

Dinarello CA, Porat R. Fever and hyperthermia. In: Fauci AS, Harrison TR, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2008:chap 17.


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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby dan » Fri May 28, 2010 11:34 pm

Has anyone here had issues with heat problems? Or helped others with heat emergancys?
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Zap » Sat May 29, 2010 1:06 am

I have had heat exhaustion once, due to work.

IMO its important to drink at least a liter of water an hour in hot/warm conditions if active.
Definately pace yourself, and use common sense.

Also important to remember that dogs can get this also.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Hilts » Sat May 29, 2010 1:26 am

I dealt with it during wrestling in highscool. Happened to me 10-12 times, they would just set me out in a snow bank for while.

We have to be very careful with our dogs while running bear in the summer. We have lost a couple good dogs over the years due to heat exhaustion. Those hounds don't know when to quit and will run themselves to death if you can't stop them. We pay close attention to the dogs when the temp starts pushing 75 and quit hunting for the day when it pushes 80. That varies a bit depending on wind, humidity, moisture, sunny, cloudy, ... etc. If it does happen with a dog we always head for the closest creek and splash water on them.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby dan » Sat May 29, 2010 1:40 am

According to my 1st responder instructer, Once you have had heat exhaustion you are more susceptable to it in the future.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Zap » Sat May 29, 2010 1:43 am

dan wrote:According to my 1st responder instructer, Once you have had heat exhaustion you are more susceptable to it in the future.



I would agree with that.
Its my experiance that if I dont get out and hike regularly, I get very bad leg cramps during the nite after I do.


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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby lungbuster » Sat May 29, 2010 3:57 pm

I have experienced heat exhaustion more than once while working, and yeah after the first time it seems to come on easier the next time. I just make sure to keep hydrated and take breaks if it gets too hot.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Singing Bridge » Sun May 30, 2010 2:59 am

I've suffered from heat exhaustion a time or two, by seriously overdoing it. Hiking for miles while wearing a bug suit in 90 degree plus heat and climbing bluffs was an example of one time where I got too hot. Shade, cool water to drink and resting took care of it- but you've got to watch it out there when it gets hot.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Singing Bridge » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:59 pm

dan wrote:Apply cool, wet cloths (or cool water directly) to the person's skin and use a fan to lower body temperature. Place cold compresses on the person's neck, groin, and armpits.


Try to avoid making the person "shiver", as this may actually increase the internal core temperature further yet due to muscle contractions. The treatment is what's important, so don't panic if they shiver- but try to avoid it if you can.

We've probably all watched movies or television from years ago where the doctor ordered a patient with an excessively high temperature be placed in a tub of ice. There's a reason they don't do that anymore.

The preceding statement is a matter of opinion only- and in no way should be interpreted as actual medical advice.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Zap » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:57 am

Hot and humid yesterday. 90%+ and 90+ degrees.

I guess I overworked in the sun and heat, despite lotsa H2O, a few gatoraids and bannanas, 2 hrs after getting home it hit me. :(

I had to go to the ER for an "oil change".

Dehydrated and low sodium electrolyte.

3 bags of saline helped as did the painkillers. :)

I guess I need to be more careful.

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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby dan » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:44 pm

Glad your ok ZAP...
I think the 1st few hot days of the year are the ones that seem to get you cause your body ain't yet conditioned to the heat and it catches you off guard.
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Zap » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:32 pm

Thanks, Dan.

My sodium electrolytes were low.

I need to find a good suplement.
By the time the doc came back to discuss the blood test I was looped from the IV pain meds, :mrgreen: and forgot to ask what was a good suplement.

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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Singing Bridge » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:51 am

Going to ER is never good ZAP, glad you made out OK!

I agree with Dan, and would add that any time its over 90 degrees to slow er down a might, take more fluids than normal and cut the work load down in general. I also found that out the hard way. :?
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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby Zap » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:26 pm

Thanks for the concern, it is appreciated.

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Re: Heat emergancies...

Postby dan » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:42 am

Its almost that time of year again when heat can become dangerous for active outdoors people...


It doesn’t take much to become dehydrated or to put your general health and well-being at
risk during the summer. Beat the heat by drinking enough of the right liquids (hint: water) and
recognizing the signs of heat stress.

Shoot for 64 ounces daily
It’s recommended you drink a minimum of
eight cups (or 64 ounces) of water or waterbased
fluids daily to replace the fluid you lose
through your breath, perspiration, urine and
bowel movements. Of course, intake needs
are different for everyone, and your needs
will increase as the temperature rises or
your physical activity increases. However,
64 ounces is a good baseline for most adults,
according to Pat Buck, a registered dietitian
on QuadMed’s Nutrition Team.

Regular water is best
Water is by far the best option, Pat says, but
any caffeine-free or alcohol-free beverage will
help keep you hydrated. Some points
to consider:
• As natural diuretics, caffeine and alcohol
increase urination and make it harder for
you to keep enough water in your body.
• Limit your intake of anything caffeinated
(e.g., soda and coffee) or alcoholic if you’re
worried about dehydration.
• Sugary sports drinks such as Gatorade
(which pack calories) will help keep you
hydrated but are really only necessary
for athletes who lose minerals while
sweating or need an additional source
of energy during prolonged exercise or
sporting events.
• Energy drinks can have a diuretic effect
due to their significantly high caffeine
content – about 80 milligrams per
eight-ounce serving, or three times as
much as cola drinks.

Drink before you’re thirsty
Your thirst sensation runs quite a bit slower
than your body’s need for water. By the time
you realize that you’re feeling thirsty, your
body will already be suffering from drought.
Most experts suggest that you drink before
you get thirsty.

Make it easier
Carrying a full water bottle with you is one
of the easiest ways to help you reach the
64-ounce-a-day goal. Other recommendations
include:
• Drink before meals, when you’re hungry,
rather than afterwards, when you’re full.
• Use a straw. It actually helps you drink
more without even realizing it.
• Add some flavor. Slices of lemon, lime,
strawberry or even cucumber can liven up
plain water and make it tastier.
• Commit to drinking one full glass of water
before allowing yourself to indulge in other
beverages, such as a soda.

Not drinking enough?
➢ Ask yourself these questions:
• Is my urine dark? (It should be a pale yellow
in color.)
• Is my skin dry? If you wrinkle it or pinch it,
does it take awhile to “bounce” back?
• Am I feeling groggy or getting a headache
partway through the day?
If you answered “yes” to any of these
questions, it’s possible you’re dehydrated.

Heat stress
Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an
abnormally elevated body temperature with
accompanying physical and neurological
symptoms. Unlike heat cramps and heat
exhaustion – two other forms of hyperthermia
that are less severe – heat stroke is a true
medical emergency that can be fatal if not
treated properly and promptly. Heat stroke
is caused by the body not being able to
dissipate its heat (control its temperature),
usually through the evaporation of sweat.
Dehydration can also lead to heat stroke if the
body can’t sweat fast enough. Common signs
of heat stroke include:
• High body temperature
• Absence of sweating, with red hot or
flushed dry skin
• Rapid pulse
• Difficulty breathing
• Strange behavior (e.g., confusion or
disorientation)
• Seizure
If you suspect a case of heat stroke,
immediately call 911 and notify your qualified
First Aid personnel via your plant’s
emergency communication protocol.
Sometimes a person experiences heat
exhaustion before progressing to heat stroke.
Signs of heat exhaustion include:
• Nausea/vomiting
• Fatigue/weakness
• Headache
• Muscle cramps
• Dizziness
If you suspect a case of heat exhaustion,
notify your plant’s First Aid personnel.
Drink water frequently and take breaks in
cooler areas to fend off heat exhaustion, heat
stroke and other forms of heat stress.

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