Here comes summer! Yahoo! Finally! After 9 months of the fierce Alberta winter, spring has sprung and summer is well on it’s way. With it comes it’s own set of preventable emergencies, one being Heat Stroke and other Heat Related Emergencies. How do you recognize Heat Stroke? How do you recognize Heat Cramps? Heat Exhaustion so as to prevent it from escalating to Heat Stroke? This is what we’ll discuss here this week..
Heat cramps are often unrecognized and simply shrugged off as muscle cramps from physical activity, when in fact it’s your body beginning to tell you it’s getting warm and needs hydration. When this sign and beginning symptom go unnoticed, it can escalate very quickly to heat exhaustion.
Heat exhaustion is when you are sweating profusely, tired, hot, thirsty. You may feel nauseated, weak, dizzy. Your skin may be redder or paler than normal. This is when we must stop, hydrate, cool off, cool down, get out of the heat and take a break, stay out of the heat for the rest of the day. Not doing so, can very quickly lead us into Heat Stroke which can become life threatening if not treated immediately.
Heat stroke is when our body stops sweating, our skin becomes hot and dry, our core temperature can often be as high as 41°C or 106°F. Our behavior will be irritable, aggressive, and or bizarre, we will experience a progressive loss of consciousness, a rapid, weak pulse that becomes irregular, rapid shallow breathing and seizures may all accompany a heat stroke emergency. Heat Stroke requires us to cool the body any way we can, this can be ice packs wrapped in a towel and placed in the groin, each armpit and the back of the neck to cool large blood vessels. Immerse the body in cool water from the neck down, or place wet towels on the person and fan them. If they are conscious, have them take small sips of cool water. Never place an unconscious person in a tub, pool, or open body of water.
Learn more about Heat Stroke and other Environmental Related Emergencies in a Standard First Aid Class. Register online for the next upcoming class HERE