First Aid: Temperature related injuries


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First Aid: Temperature related injuries

  1. 1. Heat and Cold Injuries First Aid and Treatment Options Anas Bahnassi PhD 7
  2. 2. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE 2
  3. 3. Heat related injuries: 3Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Causes: The body normally cools itself by sweating. Under some conditions, though, this system can start to fail. In such cases, a person's body temperature may rise quickly. Very high body temperatures can damage the brain and other vital organs. Exposure to abnormal or prolonged amounts of heat and humidity without relief or adequate fluid intake can cause various types of heat-related injuries.
  4. 4. Heat related injuries: 4Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Types of heat-related injuries: Heat cramps. These are painful muscle cramps, usually in the stomach, arms, or legs, that may occur during heavy activity. Heat cramps are the least serious type of heat-related injury. It can be dangerous to ignore them, however, since they are an early warning sign that the body is having trouble with heat
  5. 5. Heat related injuries: 5Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Types of heat-related injuries: Heat exhaustion. This is the body's response to losing too much water and salt in sweat. It often occurs in people who exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place, which makes them sweat a lot. Elderly people and those with high blood pressure are also prone to heat exhaustion. As the body overheats, blood flow to the skin increases, which decreases blood flow to other organs and causes weakness, confusion, and can cause collapse. If heat exhaustion is not treated, the person may suffer heat stroke.
  6. 6. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE 6
  7. 7. Heat related injuries: 7Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Types of heat-related injuries: Heat stroke. This is the most serious type of heat-related injury. Heat stroke, also known as sun stroke, occurs when the body becomes unable to cool itself down. The body's temperature may rise to 41 degrees Celsius or higher within minutes. If heat stroke is not treated quickly, it can lead to brain damage or death.
  8. 8. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE 8
  9. 9. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE 9 Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke Sweaty moist skin Dilated pupil Normal Body Temperature Dry skin Constricted pupil Elevated Body Temperature
  10. 10. Management 10Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Heat Cramps • Heat cramps usually occur during heavy activity. • Stop being active and sit quietly in a cool place and drink sips of water, clear juice, or a sports drink. • To relieve the muscle cramps, firm pressure is placed on the muscles or the muscles are massaged gently. • It is important for the person not to return to heavy exercise for a few hours after the cramps go away, because this might lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. • A doctor should be called if the cramps do not go away within an hour.
  11. 11. Management 11Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Heat Exhaustion • Medical help should be called immediately if the symptoms are severe, or if the person has heart disease or high blood pressure. • It is important for the person to cool off by being taken to a shaded area and fanned or, if possible, moved into an air-conditioned room. • It is best for him or her to lie down and remove heavy clothing. • Sips of water and applying cool, wet cloths on the skin are helpful. • A cool shower or bath may also help.
  12. 12. Management 12Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Heat Cramps • Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. • Medical help should be sought right away. While waiting for help, the person can be cooled off by getting out of the sun, being fanned, or being moved into an air- conditioned room. • It is important for the person to lie down and remove clothing. • Applying cool, wet cloths, or putting the person in a cool bath or shower will help. • If the humidity is low, another solution is to wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet.
  13. 13. Management 13Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Heat Cramps • If the person is outside, spraying him or her with a garden hose can be effective. • Taking the person's temperature regularly, and keeping up the cooling efforts until it drops to 38-39 degrees Celsius is important. • Sometimes the person's muscles may start to twitch wildly as a result of heat stroke.If this happens, the person should be kept from getting hurt. • It is important not to put anything in the person's mouth, and do not give him or her anything to drink. If vomiting occurs, the airway is kept open by turning the person onto his or her side.
  14. 14. Prevention • Consume plenty of fluids, regardless of thirst. • During heavy exercise in hot weather, it is important to drink at least two to four glasses of cool fluid each hour. • Water is always a good drink choice. Very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps. • Avoiding drinks containing caffeine, such as iced teas and colas, is important because they just cause the body to lose more fluid. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE 14
  15. 15. Prevention • Salt tablets should be avoided. • Slowing down the pace is important also. It is important to cut back on heavy exercise, or to move it to the coolest time of day, usually very early in the morning. • Staying indoors if possible also can help. The best way to beat the heat is to stay in an air-conditioned room. • An electric fan can make things more comfortable, too, but a fan alone may not be enough during a severe heat wave. If it is very hot at home, spending a few hours at an air-conditioned mall or public library can help. • Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing also helps. Light-colored fabrics are the best, because they reflect away some of the sun's energy.It is helpful to eat smaller, more frequent meals, to avoid generating the extra body heat associated with digesting large meals. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE 15
  16. 16. Cold related injuries: 16Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Causes: When more heat is lost than your body can generate, hypothermia, defined as an internal body temperature less than 35 °C, can result. Wet or inadequate clothing, falling into cold water and even not covering your head during cold weather can increase your chances of hypothermia. When exposed to cold temperatures, especially with a high wind chill factor and high humidity, or to a cool, damp environment for prolonged periods, your body's control mechanisms may fail to keep your body temperature normal.
  17. 17. Cold related injuries: 17Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Frostbite: These areas usually are the first to turn cold, white, hard, and numb. Frostbite can be deceptive—because it causes numbness, rather than pain, people may not know it is happening in time to prevent serious damage. Frostbite is the freezing of any part of the body. Ice crystals form within or between the cells. Red blood cells and platelets clump and restrict blood flow, especially to the ears, fingers, toes and nose.
  18. 18. Cold related injuries: 18Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Treatment of Frostbite: • Affected body parts should be warmed rapidly in warm, not hot, water. • Rubbing the frostbitten parts is not advisable because more tissue damage can be caused by this process. • Another myth is that the frostbitten area should be rubbed with snow. This can also cause more damage. • Thawing occurs when the affected part begins to become pink or red. • If it remains white that means more time has to be allowed for thawing in the warm water.
  19. 19. Cold related injuries: 19Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Treatment of Frostbite: • Small blisters appear right after the rapid thawing. They break in about a week. • A black scab forms after the blisters rupture. Normal tissue may have already formed below. • The thawed part is usually protected to avoid both refreezing and excessive heat. • Usually neither bandages nor dressings are used, and the area is cleaned with mild soaps. • Exercises are needed to preserve joint motion in hands and feet. • Early surgical removal of the dead tissue may save the part from amputation. • Antibiotics are prescribed, if necessary.
  20. 20. Cold related injuries: 20Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE The wind chill factor The wind-chill factor can increase heat loss from the body. If the skin is wet, there is an even greater transfer of heat to the surrounding air from the body. Those who are at risk from these circumstances are people who fish on ice, hunters, skiers, campers, and hikers in the mountains. Anyone exposed to wind and low temperatures can develop serious frostbite.
  21. 21. Cold related injuries: 21Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Hypothermia: • lowering of the body temperature below 35 degrees Centigrade. • It results from prolonged exposure to cold when the body heat loss is greater than heat production. • Hypothermia can be life-threatening.
  22. 22. Cold related injuries: 22Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Symptoms of Hypothermia: • Shivering • Slurred speech • Abnormally slow breathing • Cold, pale skin • Loss of coordination • Fatigue, lethargy or apathy • Confusion or memory loss • Bright red, cold skin (infants)
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  24. 24. Cold related injuries: 24Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Treatment of Hypothermia: Call emergency medical assistance. While waiting for help to arrive, monitor the person's breathing. If breathing stops or seems dangerously slow or shallow, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately. Move the person out of the cold. Remove wet clothing. Don't apply direct heat. Don't give the person alcohol. Don't massage or rub the person
  25. 25. Anas Bahnassi PhD CDM CDE Clinical Pharmacy VI: First Aid