There are three categories of Heat Injuries: Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Cramps
Heat Cramps occur during or after working or exercising in a hot environment without properly re-hydrating and excessively sweating. Those who are at greatest risk are Infants, young children, inactivity for long periods of time, those who drink alcohol or on medication, or is already a heat casualty.
Heat Cramp Symptoms ( Less Severe) are muscle spasms of the arms, legs and sometimes the stomach. These spasms may be brief but painful. They usually come and go and resolve on their own. Call 911 and seek medical help if these symptoms continue for long periods. If heat cramps continue, this may be early signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
♦ Stop all activities.
♦ Move to a cool ans shady area. Note: If this is not available you may have to set up a tent or an improvise shelter.
♦ Loosen clothing
♦Rest and replace fluids (0.5 Litter) with a cool, electrolyte beverage such as Gatorade/Powderade or something similar.
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Signs and Symptoms Of And Heat Exhaustion
Heat Exhaustion (More severe) occurs when the body fails to regulate to core temperature and overheats from excessive sweating and dehydration. Again, Young children, the elderly, those who use alcohol or on medications are at greater risk for this type of heat injury.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms May include Muscle cramping, Pale-cool-clammy of the skin, dizziness, headaches, loss of appetite, Chills, urge to defecate, rapid pulse, thirsty,tingling of the hands and feet, fainting, confused, dry-heaves, heavy sweating, pupils dilated, subnormal core temperature.
Caution when this type of injury is suspected Seek Medical Help and monitor person by....
♠ Move the person to a cool, shady area or improvise shade if none is available.
♠ Have the person lie down with the feet elevated.
Note: Backpack makes a perfect pillow under the legs for the situation.
♠ Loosen clothing and remove boots.
♠ Give the person a cool drink,as stated above for Heat Cramps, increase cooling of the body by spraying with water. Fanning the body also help the cooling process.
♠ Monitor person's symptoms til medical help arrives.
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Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
Heat Stroke is a condition where the body's cooling mechanism has failed due to high heat exposure. Also excessive sweating and the loss of fluids elevated core temperatures above 104°F. Heatstroke occurs more rapidly with people who are engaged in work or other physical activity in a high heat environment.
Heat Stroke Symptoms (most severe) may Include reddish-dry skin, confusion, dizziness, pupils constricted, headaches, stroke like symptoms may occur, seizures, cramps, stomach pains and Unconsciousness and collapse may occur. These are only a few of the symptoms i have mentioned. Please ask your nurse or doctor for complete list of symptoms and care.
Symptoms are almost the same for Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke. Here are some ways to identify, in most cases, between the two injuries:
Heat Exhaustion º Moist and clammy skin º Pupils Dilated º Subnormal Body Temperature
Heat Stroke °Dry and Hot Skin º Pupils Constricted º High Body Temperature
♥ Call 911 for medical assistance
♥ Start cooling off person by moving them to a shady area or improvised shelter.
♥ Elevate the legs
♥ If available, place ice packs to the head, neck and groin areas. Fanning the person may helps when ice packs are not available.
♥ Have person, if conscious, sip cool water.
♥ Spray the casualties body with water, if available.
♥ loosen clothes and remove footwear.
Heat Injuries Hiking Backpacking Outdoors
Heat injuries are environmental injuries. They can be prevented:
o Stay well hydrated
o Wear light and loose fitting clothing.
o If on medications, check with your doctor to see if your medication will increase the chances of a heat injury.
o Avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day
o Acclimatize to the area of interest.
o If you start to feel minor symptoms, STOP all activities and cool down.
Pupils Dilated, cool skin,
Pupils Constricted, Dry Skin
Heat Casualty Outdoors Hiking Injuries
In all, always seek medical help and advice from a professional. I am not in the medical field or claim to be. Information on this blog comes personal experiences, combat life savers training and Research. GetOutdoors, Be Safe and Happy Trails.