Heat Disorders Essay

1350 words - 5 pages

Heat Disorders

The following information should NOT be relied upon for personal diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. If you have medical questions, please contact your healthcare provider. If you need medical assistance, please contact a medical provider or call 9-1-1


Symptoms: Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches.

First Aid: Take a shower, using soap, to remove oils that may block pores preventing the body from cooling naturally. If blisters occur, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention.

Heat Cramps

Symptoms: Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal muscles. Heavy sweating.

First Aid: Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue.

Heat Exhaustion

Symptoms: Heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale and clammy. Weak pulse. Normal temperature possible. Fainting, vomiting.

First Aid: Get victim to lie down in a cool place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke)

Symptoms: High body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin. Rapid, strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Victim will likely not sweat.

First Aid: Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. Move victim to a cooler environment. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body temperature. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing. Use fans and/or air conditioners. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.

Source: www.fema.gov

National Weather Service information on heat

Why are Heat Waves so dangerous?

Heat kills by taxing the human body beyond its abilities. In a normal year, about 175 Americans succumb to the demands of summer heat. Among the large continental family of natural hazards, only the cold of winter - not lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes - takes a greater toll. In the 40-year period from 1936 through 1975, nearly 20,000 people were killed in the United States by the effects of heat and solar radiation. In the disastrous heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died. And these are the direct casualties. No one can know how many more deaths are advanced by heat wave weather - how many diseased or aging hearts surrender that under better conditions would have continued functioning.

How does NOAA keep the public informed about heat waves?

With the National Weather Service Heat Index Program, the National Weather Service (NWS) has stepped up its efforts to alert more effectively the general public and appropriate authorities to the hazards of heat waves - those prolonged excessive heat/humidity episodes.

Based on the latest research findings, the NWS has devised the "Heat...

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