SJA Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke & Hypothermia

Report Copyright Infringement View in OSM UK View in OSM NZ

Description

Session on Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke & Hyperthermia, based on St John Ambulance information here: http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/hot-and-cold-conditions.aspx

Resources

http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/hot-and-cold-conditions.aspx

Instructions

HEAT EXHAUSTION
Heat exhaustion is caused by a loss of salt and water from the body, usually through excessive sweating.
It develops slowly and usually happens to people who aren’t used to hot, humid weather. People who are unwell are more likely to get it, especially if they are suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.

What to look for - Heat exhaustion - These are the six key things to look for:
1. Headache
2. Dizziness and confusion
3. Loss of appetite and feeling sick
4. Sweating with pale clammy skin
5. Cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
6. Fast, weakening pulse and shallow breathing

What you need to do - Heat exhaustion
• Help take them to a cool place and get them to lie down with their legs raised.
• Then give them lots of water. You can also give them a sports drink like Lucozade or an oral rehydration solution to help replace the salt and fluid they have lost by sweating.
• Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of response.
• Even if they recover quickly, suggest they see a doctor.
• If they seem to be getting worse, place them into the recovery position and call 999/112 for an ambulance.


HEAT STROKE
Heatstroke is caused by a failure of the thermostat in the brain which regulates the body temperature. If someone has a high fever or has been exposed to heat for a long time, then their body can become dangerously overheated.

What to look for - heatstroke - These are the six key things to look for:
1. Headache, dizziness and discomfort
2. Restlessness and confusion
3. Hot flushed and dry skin
4. A fast deterioration in the level of response
5. A full bounding pulse
6. Body temperature above 40°C (104°F)

What you need to do - heatstroke
• Quickly move them to a cool place and remove their outer clothing but ensure you maintain their dignity.
• Then call 999/112 for an ambulance.
• Wrap them in a cold wet sheet and keep pouring cold water over it until their temperature falls to at least 38°C (or 100.4°F). Measure this with a thermometer under their tongue or under their armpit.
• If you can’t find a sheet, fan them or sponge them down with cold water to keep them cool.
• Once their temperature seems to have gone back to normal, replace the wet sheet with a dry sheet.
• While waiting for help to arrive, keep checking their temperature, as well as their breathing, pulse and level of response.
• If they start getting hot again, repeat the cooling process to lower their temperature.
• If they lose responsiveness at any point, open their airway, check their breathing and prepare to treat someone who’s become unresponsive.


HYPOTHERMIA
Hypothermia happens when someone’s body temperature drops below 35°C (95°F). Normal body temperature is around 37°C (98. 6°F).
Hypothermia can become life-threatening quickly, so it’s important to treat someone with hypothermia straight away. Severe hypothermia, when the body temperature falls below 30°C (86°F), is often fatal.
Hypothermia is usually caused by being in a cold environment for a long time. This could be from staying outdoors in cold conditions, falling into cold water, or from living in a poorly heated house. Elderly people, babies, homeless people and anyone who is thin and frail or not able to move around easily are particularly vulnerable.

What to look for - Hypothermia - These are the four key things to look for:
1 .Shivering, cold, pale, and dry skin
2. Tiredness, confusion, and irrational behaviour
3. Slow and shallow breathing
4. Slow and weakening pulse

What you need to do - Hypothermia
If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to warm them up.
If they are outside, if possible get them indoors. Cover them with layers of blankets and warm the room to about 25°C (77°F). Give them something warm to drink, like soup, and high energy food, like chocolate.

• Once they have warmed up, tell them to see a doctor as soon as possible
• If they lose responsiveness at any point, open their airway, check their breathing and prepare to treat someone who’s become unresponsive.
• If they are outdoors and you can’t move them indoors:

1. Find something for them to lie on to protect them from the cold ground, like heather or pine branches.
2. If their clothes are wet, change them into dry clothes, if possible. Put them in a sleeping bag and cover them with blankets, if available. Make sure their head is covered too.
3. Then call 999/112 for an ambulance. If possible, don’t leave them by themselves but stay with them until help arrives.
4. While you wait for help to arrive, keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of response.

Tags

  • first aid
  • heat exhaustion
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypothermia

Badge Links

This activity doesn't complete any badge requirements