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Course Navigation This is a standard PowerPoint file. Use your mouse to click anywhere on a slide to go to the next slide. You may also use the arrow keys on your keyboard as shown below: Click the left-arrow key on your keyboard to go to the previous slide Click the right-arrow key on your keyboard to go to the next slide
Heat Exposure Injuries Course Category: Safety Course Credit: 30 minutes (1/2 hour) ORACLE course code #SAFI 12400 Author: Lynne Presley, Training Administration, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org@doc.state.ok.us Course Date: April 2003
Course Objectives At the end of this course, students will be able to: Identify the three major heat exposure injuries Recognize the physical symptoms of heat exposure injuries Identify the first aid procedures for heat exposure injuries Understand the precautions to take to avoid heat exposure injuries
Heat Exposure Injuries: Introduction The human body is a miraculous organism, able to adapt to a variety of adverse conditions. Unfortunately, environmental extremes may interfere with the body's ability to adapt. People engaged in extreme physical activities, in warm climates or bright sunlight, may become victims of heat exposure injuries. Many of those affected by heat exposure are people who are not acclimated to the heat, not in good physical condition, or those who fail to take adequate precautions.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Types The specific types of heat exposure injuries include: Heat Cramps Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke
Heat Exposure Injuries: Definition Body heat is generated through normal metabolism. Vigorous exercise or labor creates more heat, and the climate may make the situation even worse. The body reacts to increasing heat by sweating (among other normal mechanisms), with the resulting evaporation acting as a cooler on the skin's surface. When something interrupts this cycle, such as excess sun, heat, or humidity, heat can build in the body faster than it can be eliminated. This may result in heat exposure injuries.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Cramps Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms following strenuous exercise. Heat cramps can occur in normally healthy people, even when the air temperature is not particularly hot. The exact causes are not well known. However, it is known that during periods of heavy perspiration, both electrolytes (salts) and water are lost from the body's cells, including those of the muscles.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Cramps, continued Given time, unless serious depletion has occurred, simply replenishing the body's water supply, resting, and allowing the body to cool down will reverse this problem. Giving salt tablets - a practice once believed necessary - will NOT be of special benefit, and may actually make the problem worse since even more water would be needed to balance the salt intake. While heat cramps are not generally serious, should the problem persist, or other signs of heat exposure become evident, the person should seek medical help.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Exhaustion Under normal conditions, the body loses water by sweat, tears and body elimination. Drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water replace this loss. When this cycle is interrupted by heat, humidity, excess sun, or illness (fever, vomiting, diarrhea), this may lead to excess loss of fluids and result in dehydration. If the body is not rehydrated, heat exhaustion may develop, in which the body experiences a loss of water and essential salts such as sodium, potassium, calcium bicarbonate and phosphate.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Exhaustion, continued Signs of heat exhaustion include: Excessive sweating Weakness Dizziness Nausea Cold, clammy skin
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Exhaustion, continued Heat exhaustion is most common during periods of hot, humid weather, and often in those who are more of a spectator than physically active. Typically, the cause is loss of water through sweating that has not been replenished.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Exhaustion Treatment A person with heat exhaustion should be treated as if in mild shock. Move the person from the warm environment, then have the person lie down, elevate the feet, and apply a cool compress. If the person is conscious, give water in small amounts to begin rehydration.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Exhaustion Treatment, cont’d. Heat exhaustion is usually not serious and is quickly reversed. If the person is unconscious, or the problem persists, medical help is necessary to avoid complications and serious injury.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Stroke Heat stroke is the least common but most serious of the three types of heat exposure injuries; it is truly a life-threatening emergency. Unlike heat exhaustion, heat stroke is more common in the active person than the spectator. Heat stroke happens when the body has lost the normal ability to cool itself adequately. How could this happen? Some possible reasons are: Prolonged loss of water (as in heat exposure) Prolonged exposure to a hot or humid environment, where the person's perspiration can't evaporate In cases of heat stroke, the body's temperature rises to dangerous and ultimately fatal levels.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Stroke, continued. Although sometimes hot and sweaty, most people who suffer heat stroke are flushed, hot and dry with a rapid and eventually weak pulse. Untreated heat stroke usually results in death. Considering this, speed in treatment is an absolute priority! Heat stroke symptoms include: High body temperature Hot, dry flushed skin Mental confusion Seizures Failure to sweat Rapid pulse, changing to a weak pulse Headache
Heat Exposure Injuries: Heat Stroke Treatment What should you do if someone suffers heat stroke? The absolute first thing to do is to obtain medical care, to avoid brain damage and/or death. Take the victim to the nearest hospital emergency room, or call an ambulance. If you are waiting for an ambulance to arrive, remove the victim from the heat source, sponge the victim to cool the body, or cover the victim with wet sheets. It is also helpful to point a fan at the victim to aid evaporation of heat. Do not apply ice to the victim's body, as this may cause additional medical problems.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Prevention It's important to use caution when you know you'll be in a warm environment. Here are some prevention tips: Drink lots of water when you know you'll be exposed to heat Stay out of the sun and heat. If outside, look for shade. If inside, use fans or air conditioning. Dress sensibly, in light-colored clothing. Wear clothes that fit loosely, to allow air to circulate around your body. Don't overdo it! If you become overheated, stop and rest away from the direct sun or other source of heat.
Heat Exposure Injuries: Conclusion We hope you found this topic and course of interest. Don't forget to check the "Safety" section of our online courses page each quarter for the latest offering! Exit Course