Compassion for Life/Disaster Relief Servants

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WHAT TO DO IN A HEAT RELATED EMERGENCY

 

 

HEAT STROKE (Very life threatening)

SYMPTOMS (May include some or all of the following.):

  • Usually hot, dry skin with a high temperature.
  • Often unconscious, delirious or comatose.
  • Hallucinations, changed behavior, confusion or seizures.

TREATMENT:

  • Rapid cooling-remove from hot environment/sun and spray or sponge with water, fan the victim and place in air conditioned area or shade.
  • Apply cold pack or ice pack to neck, armpits and groin area.
  • Call 911 to seek medical help and transportation to the hospital.

HEAT EXHAUSTION (May also be life threatening)

SYMPTOMS (May include some or all of the following.):

  • Temperature normal or slightly increased with heavy sweating and a cool, clammy, pale appearance.
  • Weakness, fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Impaired judgment, dizziness, light-headedness.
  • Thirst.
  • Muscle cramps.

TREATMENT:

  • Move victim to a cool place out of the sun, in the air conditioning or near a fan.
  • Lay victim flat on back and elevate the legs.
  • Loosen the victim’s clothing.
  • Give the victim electrolyte solution to drink like Gatorade or mix ¼ teaspoon of salt in one quart of water.
  • Call 911 to seek medical help or transport to a hospital if the person is not improving or has any signs of heat stroke, if person is elderly, has a heart problem or if you question their recovery.

HEAT CRAMPS:

SYMPTOMS:

  • Brief, intermittent muscle cramping.  Tends to occur often after a person stops work/activity when the victim is relaxing.

TREATMENT:

  • Rest affected muscle.  Do not massage.
  • Drink commercial electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with 1 quart of water. If severe, may need to go to the hospital for an IV.

 

NOTE: During the hot, Texas months, please check in on your elderly and/or disabled neighbors to ensure that they are safe.