Jul 24 2018

Emergency Preparedness – Signs And Treatment Of Heatstroke | Hyperthermia

Emergency Preparedness
HEATSTROKE

Heatstroke Prevention must be part of your emergency preparedness, however, in some cases you may not be able to prepare properly so it is important that you know how to protect yourself using what is available in your environment.

Preventing injuries, and being proactive in protecting yourself against things like hypothermia, hyperthermia (heat stroke), frostbite and dehydration can ensure your survival.

Knowing what the possibilities are can go a long way in preventing certain things from happening or developing. 

man in sun

Heatstroke and dehydration are not synonymous, as some may believe. Heatstroke is the failure of the body to regulate its cooling system because of exposure to high temperatures.

Dehydration is simply not enough fluids in the body for normal cell and organ function and it is fatal once the body loses 15 percent of its fluids.

You cannot go longer than 72-hours without adequate hydration.
 In some extreme cases, you may survive longer than three days but this would require that you do not move essentially.
There have been reported cases where individuals have survived longer than five days without any liquids but the cases are extreme examples of survival and no one should ever expect the same results.  

The body is cooled by the evaporation process. Sweat on the skin begins to evaporate cooling the skin and ultimately the blood in capillaries, veins and arteries that are close to the surface. Warm blood flows from the organs to the surface to be cooled and then travels back to the organs to cool them. You can help keep the body cool by wetting your clothing and keeping your head covered with a wet cloth.

Hyperthermia Symptoms and Signs

  • Coma.
  • Confusion.
  • Elevated Heart Rate.
  • Fainting.
  • Fever.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle Cramps.
  • Nausea.
heat stroke chart

If your body is unable to sweat because of a lack of fluids or some medical condition your body can overheat if you cannot cool it by other means.

You should conserve sweat and never attempt to ration water.

In hot climates to reduce sweating, and to conserve bodily fluids you should not exert yourself during the hottest parts of the day.

Staying in shaded areas can help slow the dehydration process and help prevent heatstroke.
Once your core body temperatures reaches 40.5ᵒC (105ᵒF) it must be cooled immediately or it is fatal.

Treating Heatstroke

heatstroke diagram

If possible submerge in water. If not possible, ensure they are out of the direct sun and then cool the head with wet cloths as well as the rest of the body, give fluid, lie patient down and raise the feet..

An essential part of your emergency preparedness plan must include familiarisation with these conditions, as they can often lead to a fatal situation.

As a prepper you must ensure you have prepared for this scenario and carry the necessary equipment in your EDC or Bug Out Bag.

Carrying a instant ice pack in your first aid kit will help with cooling, and can be applied to the patient to help reduce temperature.
The patient should be encouraged to drink water and re-hydrate, and if a normal water source is not near it will be necessary to use any old water source and filter through a good water filter bottle.

If it is not possible to get away from direct sunlight, 

Form a makeshift shelter: this can be done in a basic form using branches etc and then clad over the top using a couple of survival blankets or a survival tent over the top to give a reflective surface to bounce the suns rays back and give a shaded area to rest under.

One of these will give you an 8'x10' shelter for under £5 - click here to find out more info.

Typically, as a prepper, and if there was a risk of heatstroke, you would ensure you had the correct equipment with you and planned your day in a fashion as to ensure you did not overwork yourself and thus overheat.

Being ready with a good level of emergency preparedness will ensure that you do not become a victim in any survival situation. Having some simple equipment can mean the difference between surveying or not..!

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By simply having the knowledge of how to recognise and treat heatstroke, you are giving yourself an survival advantage.


The sooner you are able to treat someone, the quicker they will recover.


Steve Hart - UK Preppers Guide

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