Health & Safety

May 11, 2012

Health professionals offer cool advice

By Airman 1st Class Lincoln Korver
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

(AFNS) — Anyone who has gone through basic military training knows how seriously the instructors take “hydrating,” but do the trainees really know why they are encouraged to drink water regularly and beyond thirst?

The human body’s main goal is to maintain homeostasis, or balance, in all aspects of function. This includes maintaining a constant core internal temperature. Two main ways the body tries to combat overheating is by increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface in order to dissipate heat and by releasing sweat through pores to cause conventional cooling. Replacing fluids that were lost through sweat and urine is therefore essential.

“When cooling mechanisms begin to decompensate, the results can be catastrophic if not dealt with early on,” said Dr. Peter Paily, of the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Family Medical Care Clinic. “This can develop into heat illness.”

There are three types, he said.

Heat cramps are painful, involuntary contractions usually developed in large muscle groups including the arms, legs and trunk. They result from dehydration and an extreme loss of electrolytes. If the body does not receive proper treatment, this can lead to heat exhaustion.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include rapid heart rate, fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting, headaches, blurred vision and possible fainting, Paily said.

If these symptoms are not taken seriously, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

This is a complete breakdown of the body’s cooling system, he said. Common symptoms include body temperature surpassing 103 degrees; a stopping of sweat production; dry, flushed and red skin; headaches; weakness; lightheadedness and fainting; rapid pulse; shortness of breath; seizures; confusion; hallucinations; and unconsciousness.

“This is a medical emergency that can lead to death,” Paily said. “Call 911 immediately and move the victim to a cool area, cool them with water and loosen constrictive clothing.”

Four thousand Americans die from a heat-related illness each year, Paily said.

Although people of all age groups are at risk of getting heat illness, there are specific things that can make certain people more susceptible to it, said Brenda Wallsmith, a registered nurse at the clinic.

“Those at greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight and people who are ill or on certain medications,” Wallsmith said.

While heat illness is a serious issue, precautionary actions can be surprisingly simple.

To prevent heat illness, people should stay hydrated; wear loose, light-colored clothing; get proper rest; and stay committed to having a healthy diet, Paily said.

“Heat-related illnesses … should not be taken lightly,” Paily said. “Symptoms can creep up on you faster than you think. So simply staying hydrated and taking precautions can prevent a fatal outcome from heat-related illness.”




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders

57th OSS integrates new ATC radar system

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders Staff Sgt. Christopher Beier, 57th Wing Air Traffic Controller, monitors radar activity on the newly installed Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS, Oct. 15 a...
 
 

Future of AF helicopter fleets discussed at conference

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — Air Force Global Strike Command’s Helicopter Operations Division hosted the Worldwide Helicopter Conference here Oct. 7-9, to discuss the current and future state of the Air Force’s helicopter fleets. The conference promoted cross talk among the Air Force’s helicopter forces, which are principally operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific...
 
 

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — I received at least five emails last week warning me to secure my social media settings and be aware of what I post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Why? Do you not like to see what I had for dinner last night? Too many #selfies? Are photos of my dog eating...
 

 

Nurturing relationships and a culture of caring

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — When life gets challenging, stressors can build and conflicts can escalate, sometimes leading to abuse. Preventing domestic abuse is fundamental to basic relationship maintenance. Partners in healthy relationships work together every day to nurture their relationship, taking care to address issues and concerns when they occur. Healthy relationships should...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Open House to celebrate Nellis’ legacy of liberty

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Gary Nellis, son of the late 1st Lt. William Harrell Nellis, Nellis Air Force Base’s namesake, stands in front of memorabilia he has of his father at his home in Henderson, Nev....
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson

799th SFS turns up heat, wins Fire Muster traveling trophy

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson Members of the 432nd Wing Staff team fill a drum to complete the ‘Bucket Brigade’ final event during a fire muster challenge at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 10. The 4th An...
 




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