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July 25, 2013
Survival Medicine: Signs and Field Treatments for Heat Illnesses - 0
by Tim MacWelch
Who hasn’t worked up a lather of sweat doing both favored and dreaded outdoor chores and activities in the summer heat? That familiarity makes it hard to imagine that you can actually die from something as simple as getting overheated. Our ever-cheerful friends at the CDC have stated there are approximately 618 heat-related deaths each year in the United States; 68 percent of which are men (based on statistics from 1999-2010).
Since August is only one week away, it’s more important than ever to monitor yourself and those around you for heat-related illnesses like hyperthermia. The high humidity and summertime temperatures can cause these illnesses to come on fast, as your sweat fails to evaporate in humid weather and the air temps are near to, or higher than your body temperature. Symptoms of heat illness can manifest in different ways, but they are generally divided into two conditions: heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Field treatment for heat exhaustion is easy, and it generally remedies the situation. But you must catch heat exhaustion early—before it becomes heat stroke. To treat yourself or someone else for heat exhaustion, follow these steps:
Heat stroke can be fatal, so call 911 immediately if you or someone else is showing these symptoms. For field treatment of heat stroke:
Prevention and awareness of possible heat illness symptoms are the best remedy to this common and occasionally deadly medical condition. Rest and hydrate often throughout your outdoor activities and pay attention to the natural warnings from the human body.
Have you suffered from a heat-related illness? Please tell us what happened by leaving a comment.
Photo by Tony Swartz via Flickr