Heat Exhaustion – How to Treat a Casualty

Hot weather can easily lead to a hot working environment. This type of environment may trigger heat exhaustion and, in severe circumstances, heat stroke. Heat exhaustion occurs when there is a loss of water and salt through excessive sweating. Physical exercise can also cause heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is a serious condition where sweating will stop as the body becomes too hot. This can lead to unconsciousness and can even be fatal.

Tips to stay cool this summer

  • Use fans, air conditioning units and try to block out light coming through windows to create shade
  • Drink plenty of clear fluid to stay hydrated
  • Use a water spray to cool down
  • Try to avoid protein-rich food as an increased metabolism raises your body temperature

If you recognise any signs of heat exhaustion or stoke, you should immediately stop any physical activity, move to a cooler environment and shed any unnecessary layers of clothing.

Heat exhaustion

Heat stroke

Sweating

Flushed/hot skin

Pale/clammy skins

Dry skin

Nausea

Restlessness

Cramps in the limbs

Confusion

Dizziness/weakness

A full, bounding pulse

 

Heat exhaustion treatment

  1. Move the casualty to a cooler environment
  2. Lay them down and raise their legs
  3. Remove excess clothing
  4. Give the casualty a cool drink
  5. Monitor ABC’s (airway, breathing, circulation)

Heat stroke treatment

  1. Move the casualty to a cooler environment
  2. Remove excess clothing
  3. Wrap the casualty in a wet sheet
  4. Fan and wet sponge the casualty
  5. Monitor ABC’s
  6. Call 999/112
  7. Place in recovery position if casualty appears unconscious