Hot Weather Health Emergencies

Summertime:

You’ve gotten your Summer First Aid Kit,

You’ve Slathered on the Sunscreen,

You’ve Reviewed your Summer Safety Tips,

You’ve even Read all about Electrolytes,

Now what?

Photo of thermometer measuring high temperature.Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. During hot weather health emergencies, keep informed by listening to local weather and news channels or contact local health departments for health and safety updates. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Know the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and be ready to give first aid treatment.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.

Recognizing Heat Stroke

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

What to Do

If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim. Do the following:

  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Sometimes a victim’s muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.

Heat Exhaustion

Photo of man exhausted from playing tennis.Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion

Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

The skin may be cool and moist. The victim’s pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke. Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:

  • Symptoms are severe
  • The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure

Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

What to Do

Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:

  • Cool, nonalcoholic beverages
  • Rest
  • Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
  • An air-conditioned environment
  • Lightweight clothing

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles may be the cause of heat cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Recognizing Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

What to Do

If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:

  • Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
  • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Sunburn

Photo of sun bather.Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the skin. Although the discomfort is usually minor and healing often occurs in about a week, a more severe sunburn may require medical attention.

Recognizing Sunburn

Symptoms of sunburn are well known: the skin becomes red, painful, and abnormally warm after sun exposure.

What to Do

Consult a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than 1 year of age or if these symptoms are present:

  • Fever
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • Severe pain

Also, remember these tips when treating sunburn:

  • Avoid repeated sun exposure.
  • Apply cold compresses or immerse the sunburned area in cool water.
  • Apply moisturizing lotion to affected areas. Do not use salve, butter, or ointment.
  • Do not break blisters.

Heat Rash

Photo of woman's face sweating.Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather. It can occur at any age but is most common in young children.

Recognizing Heat Rash

Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

What to Do

The best treatment for heat rash is to provide a cooler, less humid environment. Keep the affected area dry. Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

Treating heat rash is simple and usually does not require medical assistance. Other heat-related problems can be much more severe.

Beat the Heat ☀️

Feel the Heat? Beat it!

Humidity is a whopper, too!

Spending time in the sun on vacation?  Heat related illness is a possibility if you don’t take certain precautions. Beat the Heat!

Learn More:

North American summers are hot; most summers see heat waves in one or more parts of the United States. Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses.Beat-the-Heat9

 

#HeatSafety #BeattheHeat #WRW

National HIV Testing Day

Take the Test: Protect Yourself and Others

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and nearly 1 in 8 doesn’t know it. 

It is important to get tested and know if you are in this group, only then can you take the next steps to protect your health and others. Find a free testing site near you and take today as an opportunity to share this information and raise awareness about preventing the spread and reducing your risk of getting HIV.

Medical and Health Apps and AEDs under FDA surveillance

With the flood of “Health Apps” on the market, and rapid increase in OTC medical devices (AEDs for one) leading to perhaps-lesser-quality-assurance, the FDA is ramping up its after-market performance scrutiny.

According to the FDA:

Despite rigorous premarket evaluation, what really counts is how well a medical device works when it’s used day-to-day by patients, caregivers and clinicians. Beyond clinical trials, real-life patient experience may reveal unanticipated device risks and confirm long-term benefits. Similar to other medical products such as drugs or vaccines, medical devices offer vital, sometimes life-saving, benefits, but they must be balanced against certain risks. A strong postmarket surveillance system can provide more robust and timely benefit-risk profiles for devices so that providers and patients can make better informed health care decisions.

Medicine doctor pushing on first aid sign with modern computer interface

Medicine doctor pushing on first aid sign with modern computer interface

Learn more at the FDA

Also read:

The Impact of Climate Change on Your Health

You think sniffles are bad?

climate_change_health_impacts600wClimate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.

In the U.S., public health can be affected by disruptions of physical, biological, and ecological systems, including disturbances originating here and elsewhere. The health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.

How Healthy is Your Community?

CommunityHave you considered the health of your Community as a whole? Interesting…

Health and well-being are products of not only the health care we receive and the choices we make, but also the places where we live, learn, work, and play. Community health improvement (CHI) is a process to identify and address the health needs of communities.

About CDC’s Online CHI Navigator

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) online CHI Navigator is a one-stop-shop that offers hospitals, health systems, public health agencies, and other community stakeholders expert-vetted tools and resources for:

$1.01 Cure for Spring Colds

Guy in a poncho

Ponchos, Rain Gear & Outer Wear

Best Cure for a Spring Cold?

Don’t get one.

These handy things are so inexpensive and small you can keep one in your desk, one in your briefcase, one in your  backpack, one in your  glove compartment of your car, one in your first aid kit and a half dozen in the kitchen junk drawer! Take along to every outdoor event this Spring, too.

Emergency Poncho

Prescription Drug Overdose a Leading Cause of Death

DRUGSDeaths from drug overdose have risen steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Prescription opioids—a class of prescription drugs used to treat both acute and chronic pain – were involved in 37 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2013. Sales of these drugs nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2013, and overdose deaths quadrupled in lockstep.

To learn more about CDC’s role in reducing prescription opioid overdose deaths as part of the HHS initiative:

TB Threatens to Kill 75 Million People

Tuberculosis – Drug-resistant TB Threatens to Kill 75 Million People by 2050, Cost $16.7 Trillion.

Over the next 35 years, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis will kill 75 million people and could cost the global economy a cumulative $16.7 trillion – the equivalent of the European Union’s annual output, a UK parliamentary group said. If left untackled, the spread of drug-resistant TB superbugs threatens to shrink the world economy by 0.63 percent annually, the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis (APPG TB) said, urging governments to do more to improve research and cooperation. “The rising global burden of multidrug-resistant TB and other drug-resistant infections will come at a human and economic cost which the global community simply cannot afford to ignore”, economist Jim O’Neill said in a statement. The WHO said last year multidrug-resistant TB was at “crisis levels”, with about 480,000 new cases in 2013.

Learn more about TB –

Source: http://www.reuters.com/