Health & Safety

August 15, 2013

Heat injuries — No time to get complacent

Staff Sgt. C.J. Hatch
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The high temperatures for Arizona through the month of August continue to stay in the low 100s. But, it’s only halfway through the summer and heat injuries can still happen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, people who work in hot environments may be at risk for heat stress. Exposure to extreme heat can result in occupational illnesses and injuries.

“What we see here at Luke Air Force Base most often is one form or another of heat illness from exertion,” said Maj. Jordan Inouye, 56th Medical Operations Squadron.

The CDC lists four different types of heat injuries: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rashes.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. Workers most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.

Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.

Any of these heat injuries are possible for people working on the flightline but can be prevented.

“Using common sense can prevent a lot of heat injuries from happening,” Inouye said. “For example, if it is really hot and humid outside, then we all need to take frequent breaks for hydration and cooling down. Bad things can happen if we are not conditioned appropriately and fail to recognize our bodies are overheating to the point of exhaustion.”

Heat stroke symptoms include:

- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating

- Hallucinations

- Chills

- Throbbing headache

- High body temperature

- Confusion/dizziness

- Slurred speech

Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:

- Call 911 and notify the supervisor

- Move the affected worker to a cool, shaded area

- Cool the worker using methods such as:

- Soaking the clothes with water

- Spraying, sponging or showering the body with water

- Fanning the body

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

- Heavy sweating

- Extreme weakness or fatigue

- Dizziness, confusion

- Nausea

- Clammy, moist skin

- Pale or flushed complexion

- Muscle cramps – Slightly elevated body temperature

- Fast and shallow breathing

A worker suffering from heat

exhaustion should be treated with:

- Rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area

- Drinking plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages

- Taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath

- Heat cramps can occur as muscle pain or spasms usually in the abdomen, arms or legs

Workers with heat cramps should:

- Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place

- Drink clear juice or a sports beverage

- Do not return to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside b cause further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke

- Seek medical attention if the worker has heart problems, is on a low-sodium diet or the cramps do not subside within an hour

Symptoms of heat rash include:

- A red cluster of pimples or small blisters most likely on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases

Workers experiencing heat rash should:

- Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible

Keep the affected area dry

- Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)

ERQS PJs honor fallen Airman with a fitness challenge memorial one year later

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS) organized a “Memorial Mash,” in honor of U.S. Air Force pararescueman Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti,...
 
 

Introducing the ‘unnamed conspirator’

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AFNS) – As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a briefing was held April 18 here, to help educate Airmen on the impact of sexual assault across the service and the nation and how they can get involved in the fight to change the culture that supports it. Speaking during the...
 
 

Airman consumed by alcohol fights back

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, GA. – With his suicide note placed neatly on the bed, he got dressed and headed to work. His plan was to pretend everything was OK, arm up for training, and then take his own life. In his note, the Airman wrote to his friends, family, supervisor, leadership and himself. He apologized...
 

 

Many unregulated nutritional supplements could be harmful

With the summer season season fast approaching, many people are trying to get into shape. In addition to regular exercise, many Airmen take supplements to help speed up the process. However, there are no regulations determining what manufacturers can and cannot put into these supplements. Some of the many types of supplements that individuals take...
 
 

Service members required to get Hep B immunization

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The Department of Defense recently updated its immunization guidelines, requiring all service members to receive the hepatitis B virus immunizations. Since 2002, the Air Force has administered the vaccination to new recruits. Most deploying Airmen and health care workers have also received the vaccination. However, about 10 percent...
 
 

PJs rapidly respond during Open House

Six pararescuemen assigned to the 48th Rescue Squadron were first responders at a scene during D-M’s Thunder and Lightning over Arizona event, April 12. During the event, an individual suddenly had a heart attack and fell over. The episode happened directly in front of the 48th RQS display, which expedited lifesaving procedures. “We were all...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin