First Aid: Heat Exhaustion
Candidates registered in standard first aid courses will learn about various heat disorders such as heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is a disorder caused by dehydration and depletion of salt. This disorder is typically brought on by excessive periods of exertion coupled with low levels of hydration. This disorder is viewed as more serious than heat cramps and rescuer(s) will have a larger number of signs and symptoms. The material posted on this page is for information purposes only, to learn to recognize and provide care for patients with heat exhaustion register for a standard first aid course.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:
Patients of heat exhaustion will show one or more the following signs and symptoms:
- Lowered level of changing levels of consciousness.
- Increased respiratory rate.
- A weak and rapid pulse.
- Cool, pale, clammy skin.
- Weakness, fatigue, nauseousness, and dizziness.
- Muscle cramps.
The signs and symptoms of patients of heat exhaustion is very similar to other condition such as drug abuse, alcohol use, mild shock, and hypoglycemia. It is important for rescuer(s) to conduct a proper history check to help determine the best care for the patient.
Treatment for Heat Exhaustion:
- The patient should be removed from the hot and / or humid environment and placed into a cooler environment. If possible the patient should be placed onto his or her back and all tight fighting clothing should be loosened.
- The patient can be cooled using a wet sponge or a wet blanket. If the patient has good level’s of consciousness he or she can be waded into a pool. Fanning and air conditioned environments are also appropriate.
- If level’s of consciousness are good the patient can take oral fluids that will help hydrate. Pop drinks, drinks with caffeine, alcoholic beverages and other diuretics should be avoided.
- If the patient’s condition does not improve the rescuer should contact the emergency medical system (EMS) with the use of a bystander if possible.
Preventing Heat Exhaustion:
Methods of preventing heat exhaustion include staying hydrated, cool, not overexerting in high heat environments, a healthy diet, good physical fitness and no alcohol and drug abuse.
The material posted on this page is for information purposes only. To learn to recognize and provide care for patients with heat exhaustion enrol into a standard first aid course (enroll here: http://standardfirstaidcourses.ca/locations/) through a credible provider such as St Mark James.