Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hyperthermia

This morning I was on the train and caught a glimpse of a newsline on the Metro that a lot of people have passed due to the heatwaves.

How do you die from heat, I wondered rather ignorantly and my inner monologue even had that argumentative tone I get. I mean, really, if you're really hot, go inside or get some water or stop doing what you're doing and take a break.

So I've been seeing different headlines all day for the same thing. That 169 + people have died so far this week or summer. Then I thought of my Michael who I always pack big bottles of water and powerade for and tell him to stay cool. We even buy several boxes of 100 ice pops that the guys keep in the freezer. You know the ones you have to cut the tip off with a scissor that the poor kids ate when their friends had the cool frozen ice cream cone things. (They went through over 300 so far this summer)

Anyway, the garage Mike works in is 110 + degrees.....most of the time, sometimes even hotter. They have to wear dickies and work boots for safety. Mike either works in that sauna or he doesn't work, therefore doesn't get paid.

When I saw that a high school football player died yesterday I decided to look into this. I've suffered heat exhaustion before but then I drank some water and took a long nap and woke up with a killer headache and then felt better. How are all these people ignoring the signs? Will Mike ignore the signs if he's being rushed by his boss?

So here are some signs to let you know that you should CHILL OUT before you drop dead from heat prostration, heat exhaustion, or hyperthermia:

1. Mental confusion (I wouldn't go by this alone. I mean, don't we all suffer from this?)
2. Muscle cramps
3. Nausea and/or vomiting

If suffereing from heat prostration or heat exhaustion, you'll most likely be sweating profusely. Continue to suffer this and your body temperature will rise to about 104 degrees. That's bad.

At 106 degrees, brain death begins and 113 degrees death is NEARLY CERTAIN.

You must drink lots of water. You sweat it all out and that's how your body cools itself (no duh) but if you don't replenish then you can't sweat anymore and that's when your body temperature will rise drastically.

If someone is suffering from heat stroke or any form thereof, they must be moved to a cool area and clothing removed to allow the heat to pass through the skin. The person can be wrapped in a cool wet towel and cold compresses should be applied to the head neck and groin. Or the person should be immersed in a cool bath. Not too cold or you can put the person in shock.

I know most of you know this, but this is pretty serious so pay attention to how you're feeling and observe one another. I'm taking this very seriously as the man I love works in such awful conditions.

So keep it cool. Word.

2 comments:

theKirkness said...

i think i had that the other day. nausea, headaches, hotness, sweat. I took a nap and woke up shitty still. drank a bottle of water and took some asprin. felt better later.

its mostly the old people and babies that die.

im thirsty.

jimbo said...

When I played football and we had triple practices I had experienced severe heat exhaustion a few times. At one point I even passed out, and vomited while unconscious. I woke up to them trying to pull my pads off and dumping water over my head.

I knew I wasn't feeling well. I knew I needed to stop, but my coach pushed me. I wanted to make the team. I had big dreams of college ball or if I was lucky pro ball.

We all have our reasons for pushing ourselves, but like Kirk said it's mostly the very young and elderly that suffer the most from heat exhaustion.