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heat exhaustion

  • The Temperature is rising - EVERYWHERE

    FEMA is warning of extreme heat emergencies - we all know it is coming! If you are reading this pretty much anywhere in the U.S. right now, one thing is certain: it is hot and it's getting hotter.
    How hot you ask? A new interactive infographic from Climate Central has compiled a list of the hottest cities in the U.S. First place goes to Miami, FL (no surprise there). In third place is Phoenix, AZ and in fourteenth and fifteenth place are Houston, TX and New Orleans, LA. Las Vegas, NV is seventeenth. Looking to beat the heat? Climate Central predicts the Pacific
    Northwest is likely your best bet!

    Learn about: Dehydration & Staying Hydrated, warning about Summer Heat

  • Staying Hydrated

    Here we are at the end of Extreme Heat Week, but that just means the "awareness campaign" is drawing to a close,,, the real heat is coming!

    Some this to remember since Summer Heat is Coming:

    Common Heat Dangers 

    • Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. Call 911 if you see someone suffering!
    • The signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, clammy skin & a weak pulse - if you feel or see any of these in others it is time to cool off!

    Skin Protection

    • A sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 can keep your skin cool.
    • A burn from the sun can ruin your day, so wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep heat at bay.
    • The sunscreen on your skin will eventually dry, so reapply!

    Staying Hydrated

    • Caffeine and alcohol may sound fun, but they’re no good if you’re out in the sun!
    • Never attend a crowded outdoor event without plenty of water to avoid Dehydration. Remember, heat is a major killer.
    • Sports drinks have electrolytes that help you stay hydrated. Drink them WITH water to protect against Heat Illnesses.
    • Electrolyte tablets are a great remedy for dehydration, and even better to take before heading into the heat as a preventative measure!

    Outdoor Safety

    • Dizziness is a sign of heat exhaustion. If you get woozy, go inside for a cool drink to cool off.
    • If you start to get tired playing out in the sun, go back inside for some indoor fun!
    • If you’re outside during an event, know where First Aid services are!

    Extreme-Heat-Graphic

  • Summer Heat is Coming

    parched earthIt is Extreme Heat Week...  by Presidential Proclamation, and efforts of such groups as OSHA and NOAA (especially through their Weather Ready Nation program and Ambassadors) awareness of the dangers of hot climates is a major focus this week.

    Heat Illnesses including Dehydration can cause serious harm, and even death. With our climate changing, the summers are getting hotter and the risks are rising along with the temperatures.

    What Climate Change Means for Your Health and Family

    As part of the commitment in the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration a new final report called The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment was released, which significantly advances what we know about the impacts of climate change on public health.

    A few examples of the increased health risks found in the assessment include:

    • Air pollution and airborne allergens will likely increase, worsening allergy and asthma conditions. Future ozone-related human health impacts attributable to climate change are projected to lead to hundreds to thousands of premature deaths, hospital admissions, and cases of acute respiratory illnesses each year in the United States by 2030, including increases in asthma episodes and other adverse respiratory effects in children. Ragweed pollen season is longer now in central North America, having increased by as much as 11 to 27 days between 1995 and 2011, which impacts some of the nearly 6.8 million children in the United States affected by asthma and susceptible to allergens due to their immature respiratory and immune systems.
    • ELECTROLYTES When a body gets out of electrolyte balance, due to excessive perspiration, the body can start to cramp, feel fatigued and start the onset of heat exhaustion. Make sure you keep your body's electrolyte balance in check with our Electrolyte tablets. Available in 100, 250 and 500 tablets per bulk size, you can make sure you keep the body in balance during strenuous workouts or competition. ELECTROLYTES
      When a body gets out of electrolyte balance, due to excessive perspiration, the body can start to cramp, feel fatigued and start the onset of heat exhaustion. Make sure you keep your body's electrolyte balance in check with our Electrolyte tablets. Available in 100, 250 and 500 tablets per bulk size, you can make sure you keep the body in balance during strenuous workouts or competition.

      Extreme heat can be expected to cause an increase in the number of premature deaths, from thousands to tens of thousands, each summer, which will outpace projected decreases in deaths from extreme cold. One model projected an increase, from a 1990 baseline for more than 200 American cities, of more than an additional 11,000 deaths during the summer in 2030 and more than an additional 27,000 deaths during the summer in 2100.

    • Warmer winter and spring temperatures are projected to lead to earlier annual onset of Lyme disease cases in the eastern United States and a generally northward expansion of ticks capable of carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Between 2001 and 2014, both the distribution and the number of reported cases of Lyme disease increased in the Northeast and Upper Midwest.
    • Increase the risks of water-related illnesses. Runoff from more frequent and intense extreme precipitation events, and increased water temperatures, will increasingly compromise recreational waters, shellfish harvesting waters, and sources of drinking water, increasing risks of waterborne illness.
    • Climate change, including rising temperatures and changes in weather extremes, is expected to increase the exposure of food to certain pathogens and toxins. Rising temperature and increases in flooding, runoff events, and drought will likely lead to increases in the occurrence and transport of pathogens in agricultural environments, which will increase the risk of food contamination and human exposure to pathogens and toxins. This will increase health risks and require greater vigilance in food safety practices and regulation.
    • Climate change will have the largest health impact on vulnerable populations including those with low incomes, some communities of color, limited English proficiency and immigrant groups, Indigenous peoples, children, pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions.
    • Extreme weather and other events related to climate change will impact health by exacerbating underlying medical conditions, increasing exposure to foodborne and waterborne illness risks, and disrupting infrastructure, including power, water, transportation, and communication systems, that are essential to maintaining access to health care and emergency response services and safeguarding human health.
  • Feel the Heat

    With Hurricane Preparedness Week having ended yesterday, we head directly into Extreme Heat Week.

    heat_tipsSummers can be hot and dry in the Northern Hemisphere, and with recent climate changes we have been experiencing heat waves throughout the US nearly every year.

    Extreme Heat is a Killer. While affecting older adults and young children most commonly, it affects all and often outdoor workers most dramatically.

    Employers and employees must all consider the dangers of working in the head, from Dehydration, to Sunburn, to illnesses and injuries including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and more.

    OSHA gives some guidelines,, definitions, and a matrix they call the heat index to help:

    Outdoor workers include any workers who spend a substantial portion of the shift outdoors. Examples include construction workers, agricultural workers, baggage handlers, electrical power transmission and control workers, and landscaping and yard maintenance workers. These workers are at risk of heat-related illness when the heat index is high. Additional risk factors are listed below. These must be taken into consideration even when the heat index is lower.

    • Work in direct sunlight - adds up to 15 degrees to the heat index.
    • Perform prolonged or strenuous work
    • Wear heavy protective clothing or impermeable suits
    Heat Index Risk Level Protective Measures
    Less than 91°F Lower (Caution) Basic heat safety and planning
    91°F to 103°F Moderate Implement precautions and heighten awareness
    103°F to 115°F High Additional precautions to protect workers
    Greater than 115°F Very High to Extreme Triggers even more aggressive protective measures

     

  • Dehydration

    Dehydration is water loss from your body. Often, dehydration causes only mild symptoms, such as thirst or fatigue, but severe dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or stroke, hypovolemic shock or even death. Chronic dehydration can increase the risk of kidney stones.

    ELECTROLYTES When a body gets out of electrolyte balance, due to excessive perspiration, the body can start to cramp, feel fatigued and start the onset of heat exhaustion. Make sure you keep your body's electrolyte balance in check with our Electrolyte tablets. Available in 100, 250 and 500 tablets per bulk size, you can make sure you keep the body in balance during strenuous workouts or competition. ELECTROLYTES
    When a body gets out of electrolyte balance, due to excessive perspiration, the body can start to cramp, feel fatigued and start the onset of heat exhaustion. Make sure you keep your body's electrolyte balance in check with our Electrolyte tablets. Available in 100, 250 and 500 tablets per bulk size, you can make sure you keep the body in balance during strenuous workouts or competition.

    Dehydration Symptoms and Signs

    Dehydration symptoms and signs depend on how much water you lose from your body.

    When you are mildly dehydrated (1-3% body weight loss), you will be probably thirsty and you might have dry mouth. If you continue to lose water (4-6% body weight loss), your lips may become dry and you may feel tired and lightheaded. You will also excrete less urine, which will probably be darker than usually. In severe dehydration (>6% body weight loss), you can become very thirsty and tired and can have severe headache. Your heart rate will likely beat fast and you can excrete little or no urine, which may become dark brown. When you lose more than 10% of body weight due to water loss you can lose consciousness or die.

    Negative Effects of Dehydration

    Decreased Physical Performance

    Dehydration that results in greater than 2% loss of body weight can decrease physical performance. This may be important during a long-lasting exercise, such as marathon. Marathoners do not need to completely rehydrate themsleves during the race but can stay mildyl rehydrated and stiil keep their performance at the optimal level.

    Orthostatic Hypotension

    In individuals with orthostatic hypotension--a drop of blood pressure upon standing--dehydration can worsen symptoms, for example, fainting after getting up in the morning.

    Drinking about 300 to 500 mL of water 15 minutes before getting up can prevent orthostatic hypotension in sensitive individuals.

    Other Negative Effects of Chronic Dehydration

    • Chronic fatigue
    • Decreased concentration, poor memory
    • Worsening of asthma or allergies

    Dehydration Complications

    Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

    In hot weather, especially at temperatures exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) when you do not drink enough, you may lose so much water that you are no longer able to sweat sufficiently to maintain your normal body temperature. This may lead to two possible complications:

    1. Heat exhaustion with profuse sweating, cool skin, increased body temperature (up to 40 °C), dizziness and headache
    2. Heat stroke with warm, dry skin, severely increased body temperature (over 40 °C), severe fatigue and impaired consciousness

    Small children, elderly and those who work physically in hot weather are at greatest risk of heat exhaustion or stroke.

    First aid in heat exhaustion or stroke:

    • Move an affected person to a cool place or at least out from the direct sun and place him or her in a lying position with slightly elevated legs.
    • Remove any unnecessary clothing.
    • Give a person cold water to drink but not more than 1.5 liters per hour to avoid water intoxication (hyponatremia).
    • Enable him or her a cool (60-65 F or 15-18 C), not cold, shower or bath or wrap him or her with cool wet towels.
    • If the above measures do not seem to help within an hour (no drop of body temperature, worsening of symptoms), take the person to the hospital or call a doctor as soon as possible.
    • In severe dehydration, a person may need an intravenous infusion of saline. If an infusion is not available, a person should get an oral rehydration solution (ORS), which contains salt.

    Hypovolemic Shock

    Severe dehydration (>10% loss of body weight) may result in a drop of blood volume which may result in an inadequate perfusion of the tissues and, eventually in multiple organ failure.

    Early symptoms and signs of hypovolemic shock include anxiety, clammy skin and increased and weak pulse; late symptoms and signs include a drop of blood pressure, loss of consciousness and, eventually, death.

    Hypovolemic shock needs to be treated promptly by intravenous saline infusion, otherwise it may result in death or permanent organ damage.

    Acute Kidney Failure

    In severe dehydration, the kidneys are no longer able to excrete waste products of metabolism, such as urea, which therefore start to acumulate in the blood and cause uremia.

    Symptoms: nausea, vomiting, impaired consciousness, very little or no urine.

    Kidney Stones

    If you are chronically dehydrated, you are at increased risk of developing kidney stones. If you drink sufficient amounts of water you may prevent kidney stones, but drinking large amounts of water in excess of your body needs may not have any further benefits.

    How much water do you need to drink per day?

    Healthy, sedentary adults living in moderate climates may need 1.2 to 3.7 liters of water per day from beverages and foods combined. Active individuals in hot climates may need up to 10 liters of water per day.

    The most reliable method to check if you are well hydrated is to weigh yourself. Once, when you know you are well hydrated, which means you have no symptoms of dehydration, weigh yourself in the morning after urinating and emptying your bowel and before breakfast. You can then consider your measured weigh as your normal body weight. Next time you want to check if you are well hydrated, weigh yourself in the morning in the same conditions and in same clothes as the first time; if your body weight is more than 1% lower than the first time, you are probably dehydrated.

    A simpler and quicker, but less reliable, method is to check your "skin turgor," that is your skin elasticity. Pinch and pull up the skin on the back of the hand (between the index and thumb) and release it. When you are well hydrated, the skin fold should flatten immediately (in less than 0.5 seconds) and when you are dehydrated, the skin fold may need more than a second to flatten.

    Contributed by Jan Modric.

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