Heat Emergencies Essay

Submitted By Bbenso1
Words: 540
Pages: 3

Heat Emergencies
The weather is becoming progressively warmer and accordingly, the risk of developing heat illnesses becomes higher. These emergencies are preventable if proper precautions are taken. A person in excellent condition can succumb to a heat illness if the person ignores warning signs, however, children, elderly, and obese people are at an even higher risk. If the problem isn't addressed, heat cramps (loss of salt from profuse sweating) can lead to heat exhaustion (dehydration), and can progress to heatstroke (shock, brain damage, organ failure, and even death). Heat emergencies are caused by prolonged exposure to extreme heat and should be taken very seriously.

Common causes of heat emergencies:
Alcohol use Dehydration Prolonged or excessive exercise
Dehydration Heart Disease Sweat gland problems
Heart disease Too much clothing High temperatures/humidity
Medications (diuretics, neuroleptics, phenothiazines, and anticholinergics)

Early signs of heat illness: Late signs of heat exhaustion: Signs of heatstroke:
Profuse sweating Headache Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
Fatigue Dizziness/lightheadedness/Weakness Dry, hot, and red skin
Thirst Nausea/Vomiting Rapid, shallow breathing
Muscle cramps Cool, moist skin Rapid, weak pulse Dark urine Seizures Unconsciousness
First Aid 1. Have the person lie down in a cool place and raise the person's feet about 12 inches. 1. Apply cool, wet cloths (or cool water directly) to the person's skin and use a fan to lower body temperature. Place cold compresses on the person's neck, groin, and armpits. 2. If the person is alert have them drink a half a cup of Gatorade or make a salted drink (add a tsp. of salt per quart of water) every 15 minutes. Cool water is acceptable if these options are not available. 3. If the person has muscle cramps, massage affected muscles gently, but firmly, until they relax. 4. If the person shows signs of shock (bluish lips/fingernails or decreased alertness), starts having seizures, or loses consciousness,…