Being here in sunny Phoenix for the ALFA conference reminded me that the hot days of summer will be here soon. While we all look forward to warmer weather, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of heat-related illness. Because of age and chronic disease, your residents are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Everyone on your team should be on the look out for signs of these dangerous conditions. Below are the signs, symptoms and recommended first aid from the National Weather Service.
- Heavy sweating
- Cool, pale, clammy skin
- Weak pulse
- Possible muscle cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Normal temperature possible
- First Aid:
- Move person to a cooler environment
- Remove or loosen clothing
- Apply cool, wet cloths
- Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
- Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.
- Altered mental state
- Possible throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
- High body temperature (106°F or higher)
- Skin may be hot and dry, or person may be sweating
- Rapid pulse
- Possible unconsciousness
- First Aid:
- Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
- Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment
- Reduce body temperature with a water mister and fan or sponging
- Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s
- Use extreme caution
- If temperature rises again, repeat process
- Do NOT give fluids
Click here to learn more: http://nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/index.shtml