Outdoor Skills - First Aid

Heat-Related Emergencies

person in desert

f it is hot, you may be the victim of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or, in extreme cases, heat stroke.

(Note: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Drink plenty of liquids to avoid heat-related emergencies.)

Heat Cramps: These are the least serious and usually occur in the leg muscles due to loss of body salts from heavy perspiration. Move to a cool place, rest, affected muscle and drink water (cold water if available).

Heat Exhaustion: This can become serious and is indicated by cold, clammy skin, slightly elevated temperature and possibly loss of consciousness. Move immediately to cool place and elevate legs, give cool water, and seek medical attention ASAP - as soon as possilbe.

Heat Stroke: This is the most serious heat-related problem, and the typical symptoms are hot, dry or wet skin, 105° temperature or higher, usually loss of consciousness - Move immediately to cool place and elevate head and shoulders. After victim is cooled, transport immediately to nearest medical facility -
Heat Stroke is life-threatening!

Caution! Be careful not to give liquids orally if victim is unconscious or cannot swallow.


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