CPR First Aid

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two examples of what are referred to as ‘heat-related illnesses’. Both are emergencies that can occur when working or doing physical activities in hot weather. It’s important to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of these conditions, so we can take the necessary steps to stay cool and hydrated. This post will discuss the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as how to prevent them.

Every year, more than 500 people nationwide pass away from heat exhaustion. According to the Australian Medical Association. The elderly, the very young, and anyone under the age of 75 is most in danger from the scorching heat.

Heat exhaustion leading to heatstroke is an emergency case. To better equip yourself or your staff in the workplace, enrol in a first aid course at Level 1/174 Gilles St, Adelaide 5000 with CPR First Aid. We have training locations all across Australia near you.

What is Heat Exhaustion?

It is the body’s reaction to a disproportionate loss of water and salt, typically through excessive perspiration. When your body’s temperature gets too high and it is unable to lower it on its own, heat exhaustion results. The body can become overheated when engaging in physical activity, particularly in warm, muggy conditions. Usually, perspiration serves as a natural air conditioner for your body, cooling your skin while it does so.

People More Susceptible to Heat-Related Illnesses

Watch out for young children, the elderly, and those who have chronic health issues such as diabetes or heart issues, since they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Although this can happen to anyone, below are some groups of people most likely to be impacted are:

  • Older people
  • High blood pressure sufferers
  • Those who are engaged in hot weather labour

Risk Factors of Heat Exhaustion

Common risk factors that can lead to this condition are as follows:

Age

The likelihood of developing heat exhaustion is increased in older adults and youngsters. People over the age of 65 and young children have a harder time controlling their body temperature. Additionally, because their bodies don’t obtain enough fluids, they are more prone to get dehydrated.

Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol might lead to dehydration. Heat exhaustion risk is increased by dehydration. Alcohol also impairs your ability to regulate body temperature.

Lifestyle

You run an increased risk of heart sickness if you exercise in a hot, muggy atmosphere. If you are using bulky clothes or equipment, the risk rises. Heat fatigue is more likely to occur in individuals who aren’t used to working in hot environments.

Medication

Some prescription medications include side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration, which can result in heat exhaustion. Here are a couple of examples of medication that increases the risk of heat exhaustion.

Diuretics or water tablets

Are used to treat heart failure, and create dehydration by reducing the quantity of fluid in your body.

Beta-blockers

They decrease blood pressure and slow the heart rate, and chemotherapy medications, are used to treat cancer.

Weight and Overall Health

Those who are overweight are more likely to have heat exhaustion. Obesity and specific health issues e.g. diabetes and heart disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion symptoms can emerge abruptly or gradually. You may experience heat cramps or a red rash (heat rash) prior to the onset of symptoms of heat exhaustion. Any muscle can experience these excruciating cramps, but the arms or legs are where they typically occur. 

When the body is unable to regulate its own temperature, the individual may experience the following:

  • dizziness
  • irritability
  • craving for water
  • heavy perspiration
  • high body temperature
  • reduced urine production
  • when it’s hot, you get goosebumps on cool, damp skin.
  • faintness
  • fatigue
  • weak, fast heartbeat
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • muscle pain
  • nausea

Heat Exhaustion First Aid 

Follow these steps to treat a worker who has heat exhaustion:

  1. Transport the employee to a health centre or emergency room for a diagnosis and treatment.
  2. If medical assistance is not accessible, call triple zero (000).
  3. As soon as assistance arrives, have someone stay with the worker.
  4. Give the worker some beverages to drink and remove them from the hot location.
  5. Take off all extra clothing, including socks and shoes.
  6. Use a cold compress to relieve the worker’s discomfort, or have them wash their face, neck, and head with cold water.
  7. Encourage drinking lots of chilled water.

Workplace First Aid Training Adelaide CBD

The application of first aid practices in the workplace can be extremely beneficial for both employees and employers. Employees can learn how to properly administer first aid in the event of an accident or injury, and employers can create a safer workplace environment. To learn more about first aid courses in Adelaide, contact CPR First Aid.

How Do I Treat Heat Exhaustion?

Get somewhere cool as quickly as you can to calm down. Take a cool shower, seek out some shade, or relax inside a facility with air conditioning. You might also dampen a washcloth with cold water and apply it to your neck or forehead.

Sip on water or an electrolyte-containing sports drink. Avoid consuming too much water too fast, and sip water for around an hour. Stay away from alcohol and coffee.

Last but not the least, prevent the affected person from doing more exercise. In emergency cases, get him or her to lie down and lift their feet a little bit so that their bodies may relax.

If you think you might need assistance, call your healthcare practitioner or doctor. If symptoms don’t subside after roughly an hour of rest and water. Call 000.

Then, What is Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is the most dangerous heat-related illness. It happens when the body’s ability to regulate temperature is compromised. The body’s temperature increases quickly, the sweating mechanism malfunctions and the body is unable to cool down. Within 10 to 15 minutes after the onset of heat stroke, the body temperature can reach 41°C or more.

When Does Heat Exhaustion Become Heat Stroke?

Untreated heat stroke can result from heat exhaustion. Heatstroke is a serious, life-threatening condition. It can cause brain damage, organ failure and death. Heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency. Symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • feeling sick after 30 minutes of relaxing in a chilly environment
  • not perspiring while being overheated
  • the high temperature of at least 30 degrees
  • rapid breathing or breathlessness
  • being perplexed
  • having a fit or seizure
  • loss of consciousness – place the patient in the recovery position 

First Aid for a Worker Suffering from a Heatstroke

The goal is to prevent aspiration and help keep the patient’s airway open. The far leg is bent at an angle while the patient is lying on one side. With the hand on the cheek, the far arm is crossed across the chest. Aspiration is to be avoided, and the patient’s airway is to be kept as open as possible. Furthermore, be guided with these steps:

  1. Access urgent medical treatment for the patient, dial 000.
  2. Do not leave the patient alone until emergency medical help arrives, 
  3. Move the patient to a cool, shaded place and have them take off their outerwear.
  4. Quickly cool the worker with the use of the following techniques:
  • Dampen the skin with cold water or an ice bath.
  • Apply cool, damp towels to the skin.
  • To hasten to cool, move the air around the worker.
  • On the head, neck, armpits, and groin, use cold damp cloths or ice.
  • You can also immerse your garments in chilly water and have them use them again

Conclusion

In order to prevent symptoms of heat-related conditions, there are a number of measures that should be considered, like hydration, appropriate clothes, and break times. At 38 degrees centigrade, workers should not be working exposed to the heat of the sun. People are informed that they have a legal right to do that. The famed Australian outdoor lifestyle may be in peril as increasingly intense heat may limit how much time individuals can spend outside comfortably.

For inquiries about our CPR and Adelaide first aid training, call and we’d be happy to walk you through our courses and certification process.

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