Toolbox Talks – Heat Exhaustion Vs Heat Stroke

Our today’s toolbox topic is heat exhaustion vs heat stroke & we will explain first aid for heat exhaustion & heat stroke.
Heat stress is a result of normal physical exertion.  However in Kuwait , temperatures can exceed 50°C or 120°F which may lead to heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Quick action in the early stages can usually reverse heat-related illnesses.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can occur if a person becomes too hot, expends too much energy, and does not drink enough fluids.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  1. Profuse sweating
  2. Muscle cramps, generally in the legs and abdomen
  3. Nausea
  4. Dizziness

First aid for heat exhaustion is :

  1. Help the victim to lie down in the shade or air-conditioned area.
  2. Give water in small amounts every 2 to 3 minutes until the victim recovers.
  3. Call for assistance by radio from the Ahmadi clinic.
  4. DO NOT give ice.
  5. Apply cool water to the back of the neck and wrists.
  6. Muscular cramps might occur as a result of salt depletion. In such cases, increase the salt intake of the victim.
Heat Exhaustion Vs Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke

  • Heatstroke is very rare but is potentially life threatening.
  • It may occur after heat exhaustion has set in and has the following symptoms :
  1. High body temperature (very hot to the touch).
  2. Dry skin (the victim stops sweating).
  3. Rapid, shallow breathing.
  4. The victim will be disoriented or may become unconscious.

First Aid for heat stroke:

Call for medical assistance immediately.

  1. Move the victim into shade or air conditioning.
  2. Keep the victim lying down on his side.
  3. Pack ice, if available, around the victims wrists, under the arms, and groin area.  Use water if ice not available.
  4. If victim is conscious give small amounts of water to drink every 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove clothing from chest to torso.
  6. Do not allow stroke victim to swallow ice and DO NOT give salt.
  7. Keep the victim calm and wait for medical assistance to arrive.

Author: Afnan Tajuddin

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