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By: Meg Barton
Posted On: Dec 04, 2006

SYMPTOMS OF HEAT INJURY DURING

SUMMER IN WARM CLIMATES

Meg Barton, MS ATC/L CSCS

Certified Athletic Trainer

St. Joseph’s/ Candler Sports Medicine

St. Vincent’s Academy

      Heat Fatigue or Exhaustion occurs when a person is exposed to high temperatures and/or humidity and perspires excessively without salt or fluid replacement. Heat Stroke can occur when a nonacclimatized person is suddenly exposed to high temperature and/or humidity. The thermal regulatory mechanism fails, perspiration stops, and the body temperature increases. Above 42 degrees C oral body temperature, brain damage occurs, and death follows if emergency measures are not instituted. Note: Normal temperature is 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F).

SIGNS OF HEAT INJURY

Muscle cramps  Excessive fatigue and/or weakness  Headache

Loss of Coordination  Decreased comprehension   Dizziness

Nausea & vomiting  Decrease reaction time

                        Heat Exhaustion   Heat Stroke

Appearance   Pale     Flushed & Red

Skin    Sweaty     Dry

Pulse    Weak     Strong

Body Temperature  Normal to subnormal   Very High

Eye Pupils   Dilated     Constricted

Muscle    Cramps & Spasm   â€œJelly-likeâ€�

Breathing   Shallow    Deep & Rapid

THE BEST TREATMENT FOR HEAT INJURY IS PREVENTION!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: The average mouth holds 3-5 ounces of water. Therefore to make sure that you

Are getting enough water--- you should drink at least one mouthful every 15-20

Minutes during exercise. More is needed in higher temperatures.

      Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day!

      Change sweaty/wet clothes as often as able, allowing the skin to cool off.

TREATMENT:

  1. Remove as much clothing as possible.
  2. Telephone emergency squad.
  3. Cool as fast as possible (move to shaded area, ice towels, hose, swimming pool, etc.).
  4. Monitor sighs and symptoms (this includes changes in vital signs.

IAFF Local 574
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