Last Updated: May 29th, 2012 - 03:07:02
| How to Spot and Treat Heat Exhaustion
By Dr. Stuart Fischer
Apr 27, 2008, 10:44
Swimming, outdoor barbeques, trips to the beach. Summer time is definitely here and you're ready to get out there and enjoy those sun rays! We all think of what
we'll be doing this summer with pleasure, but most of us tend
to forget what happens when things go wrong. Whether you're
planning a beach front getaway this summer or sticking around
in the city, summer is a high-risk season for injuries, cuts,
bites and other emergencies that crop up around this time of
year. More serious emergencies like heat exhaustion can be
easily prevented, if you know what to do before the rescue
Here's some advice
on what to do if somebody you know is suffering from heat
exhaustion from Dr. Stuart Fischer, author of The Little Book of Big Emergencies.
- READ THE SIGNS: altered mental state, flushed skin,
dry and hot skin, leg muscle cramps and severe headaches are
all signs of heat exhaustion, a.k.a. hyperthermia.
- NO MORE SUN: Move patient out of the sun immediately!
If possible find a cool and shady place to rest the patient.
- CALL 911: If the patient's skin is warmer than the
outside temperature or if he is delirious, disoriented or
unresponsive, start dialing as soon as possible.
- REMOVE CONSTRICTING CLOTHING: Sponge cold water
liberally on the skin and fan the patient.
- MASSAGE: Gently massage the limbs to promote
circulation and prevent tissue damage in the fingers and toes.
- HYDRATE: Give water to patients with leg cramps, but
insist that they drink SLOWLY. When emergency personnel
arrive, they will administer intravenous hydration.
Time is of the essence in an emergency. Remaining calm and
focused in an emergency will not only prevent unnecessary
stress but can help save someone's life.
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