It’s an eye opener for some, but a lot more people die from Hyperthermia (getting too hot) than Hypothermia (getting too cold).
Worst thing about it?
It’s way more painful dying from being ‘cooked’ than frozen.
Heat Injury Avoidance in a nutshell.
- Stay in cover, maintain good ventilation, and hydrate.
- Rest in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
- Keep your mouth shut and don’t talk.
- Don’t sweat, strip off excess clothing to keep cool but keep your skin covered.
Layers are always better than thickness
- Keep your head covered with a wide brim hat and scarf around your neck or by using a Shemagh.
- Use high factor sun screen to avoid sun burn.
- Wear Polarized wrap round sun glasses.
- Don’t suck sweets, stones, smoke, or consume alcohol.
And now we come to how much do you need to drink?
I was never happy about the general mantra that you need an absolute minimum of 2 liters in a cool climate. More if it is cold, and if in tropical heat, 4 to 6 liters as a minimum.
Don’t forget, the more you eat, the more fluids you’ll need.
The other view is you should hydrate during work and drink before feeling thirsty.
Because by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. As above, the more you eat, the more fluids you’ll need.
What a great help that is (not).
I mean, What’s too hot or too cold?
Where does exercise figure in the calculations?
Especially in temperate temperatures?
Does humidity come into it?
What about wind chill?
Are you eating properly?
What about when you are hungry?
Only it’s not good to just ‘jug’ loads of water down your throat.
Do that to excess and you will cause harm to yourself as you are constantly reducing the salts in your blood.
To that end, the sensible carry Electrolytes for when they can’t eat a ‘balanced meal’. They contain the essential minerals and salts you need.
Useful things to have when you are working in the heat or even surviving in the cold. They don’t weigh a lot or take up a lot of room.
Anyway, why a balanced meal?
What has been proven is if you can eat a balanced meal, you will replace any mineral (which includes salts) naturally. Besides, every packet of Electrolytes I’ve consumed tasted awful.
When working in the heat, drink 1 mug (8 ounces) of water every 15–20 minutes
This translates to ¾–1 quart (24–32 ounces) per hour.
Drinking little and often is way more effective than drinking large amounts infrequently.
If you are going to eat, double the amount of water you drink. This amount does not include what you use to cook with, this is additional fluids.
Never DRINK sea water, urine, DE-ionized water (used for car batteries and steam irons), fish juices, or blood. Don’t use sugared or alcoholic drinks as an alternative to pure water.
Emergency Re-hydration Fluids
Cholera and Dysentery are two of the common disaster diseases and can cause you to lose a litre of fluid AN HOUR. A dose of Norwalk virus does a pretty good job of stripping you of fluids too.
D.I.Y. Basic Oral Re-hydration Liquid.
1/2 teaspoon of salt ,
6 teaspoons of sugar,
and a liter of water.
A good temporary fix but you need proper electrolyte replacement therapy as well. You can buy these in tablet or powder form.
A D.I.Y. sugar free alternative with a mineral boost would be
2 liters of water
1 level teaspoon of salt
1 level teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium salt)
This tastes pretty horrible so I always add an orange flavored vitamin C tablet.
Add a banana (not easy to find when you need one, and it boosts your potassium levels.
Heat stress is just that, you get too hot and it causes stress within the body
You may be at the limit of self help.
- a headache
- dizziness and confusion
- Anger and irritability
- loss of appetite and feeling sick
- excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
- cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- fast breathing or pulse
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- being very thirsty
- Move them to a cool place.
- Lay them down, feet raised slightly.
- Preferably give them water but don’t just glug it down.
Little and often should be you aim but you may have to encourage them.
- Cool them or spray with cool water, NOT COLD, and fan them.
Cold packs around the armpits, neck, or the groin help.
- Stay with them until they’re better.
They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.
Don’t let them leave as feeling good is not necessarily re-hydrated.
They will be out of crisis when their CORE temperature is under 38 C.
Best place to measure that? The back passage aka the butt.
- Is that it?
No. Keep them out of the heat for 24 hours
Water can turn to hot drinks later BUT NO ALCOHOL or sugar rich drinks.
If they want to pass water that’s good but hold off giving them a large meal. It takes water to digest food and, right now, they need that water to seep into all their nooks and crannies. Keep an eye on the color of the urine.
Only what happens if you can’t cool them down?
This is A MEDICAL EMERGENCY as they are now in HEATSTROKE!
- Feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
- Excessively tired, listless, slow in responding
- Not sweating even while feeling too hot
- A high temperature of 40C or above
- Fast breathing or shortness of breath
- They may have a seizure,
- Slip into unconsciousness,
And if there is no help forthcoming. . .
- Dig a hole.
You are way beyond self help and the quickest way to help someone if medical help is not an option is to rehydrate them via the anus.
- Expose their butt
- Lie them on their left side.
- Wash your hands and don a pair of gloves
- Add a lubricant to the of the end of the tube that will be inserted.
Water based if possible (KY but a basic hand cream will suffice).
- If you are using a camel pack, detach the tap.
Use you finger as a stopper.
All you need is the bag and tube.
- Insert the lubed pipe 15 cm (6 inches) into the bowel.
Slowly and gently, using tape secure it.
- Cover the patient and watch out for hypothermia. It can come on quickly.
Hang the bag above them, DON’T SQUEEZE IT, let gravity work for you.
- This will rehydrate from the inside out which, short of putting up an IV, it might save them.
Finally what water? Potable (drinkable) is best BUT NEVER SEA WATER.
some say you can used un-purified water from streams BUT it’s the quickest way to get Giardia, Leptospirosis, Crypto, Hep A, Norwalk, viral Gastroenteritis, or dysentery.
How much water?
1.5 liters is the average Camelpac and it will quickly help the person.
Once they are more ‘with it’, get them drinking.
A patient will want to get up and move around. Don’t be fooled.
Feeling better is not fully rehydrated.
Treat as heat stress BUT if the patient slips back into heatstroke, you may have to consider another rear end infusion.
Note, I’m not a medical professional, check that what I have written is correct before trying it. This is as invasive as hell for some, so be VERY CAREFUL!
Remember if you are using force or causing pain, you are doing it WRONG.