Heat stroke occurs after prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It often occurs in people who are also dehydrated, causing the body’s temperature regulation system to fail. Someone with heat stroke has a core body temperature of at least 105 F, along with symptoms related to the central nervous system.
Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke. It occurs when someone is exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time. If you spend a lot of time in high temperatures and don’t replace lost fluids, your body’s temperature regulation system becomes overwhelmed and produces excess heat. You should seek medical attention for heat exhaustion so it does not turn into heat stroke, which is life-threatening.
Heavy sweating, headache, and excessive thirst are among the most common symptoms of heat exhaustion. This condition also produces the following signs and symptoms:
If heat exhaustion progresses to heat stroke, the person’s body temperature may exceed 104 F. Other symptoms of heatstroke include dry skin, lack of sweating, throbbing headache, muscle cramps or weakness, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and disorientation. Untreated heat stroke may lead to heart attack and death.
If you suspect you have heat exhaustion, there are several things you should do. The best thing to do is go indoors and sit in an air-conditioned room or a room with a fan. If you are at work and can’t go inside, move to a shady spot outdoors. Replace lost fluids by drinking cool water or a sports drink containing electrolytes. Avoid icy-cold drinks in favor of cool liquids. Cool off by spritzing cold water on your skin, taking a cold shower, or immersing yourself in a swimming pool or bathtub filled with cool water.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect someone you know has heat stroke, call 911 or take the person to the hospital immediately. While you wait for the paramedics to arrive, move the person to a cooler environment and remove socks, long-sleeved shirts, and other unnecessary pieces of clothing. Fanning the person, applying ice packs, or immersing the person in a tub of cold water are all ways to reduce core body temperature to a safer level.
You should always take steps to prevent heat stroke, whether you are working outdoors or enjoying fun in the sun. Always wear lightweight clothing, drink plenty of water, and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day. If you take prescription medications, take special precautions to avoid extreme temperatures and dehydration.
If you work outdoors or in a hot warehouse, wear light-colored clothing made with breathable fabrics. When you get to work, build up to strenuous activities instead of starting with your most strenuous tasks. Take plenty of breaks to drink cool liquids and spend some time out of the heat. Avoiding alcohol and sugary drinks will help you prevent dehydration and reduce the risk of heat stroke.
If you have the symptoms of heat exhaustion, come to Physicians Now to see an experienced healthcare professional. We’ll examine you thoroughly and administer fluids or medications to help you feel better.
Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful circumstances, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical, and other records is crucial for starting the process of recovery quickly and efficiently. Taking the time now to collect and secure these critical records will give you peace of mind and, in the event of an emergency, will ensure that you have the documentation needed to start the recovery process without delay.
Using the EFFAK as a guide, or by downloading a secure mobile app on your phone, store important documents either in a safety deposit box, an external drive, on the cloud to make it easy to access during a disaster. Having your financial and medical records and important contact information will be crucial to help you start the recovery process quickly. Take time now to safeguard these critical documents.
A disaster can disrupt mail service for days or weeks. If you depend on Social Security or other regular benefits, switching to electronic payments is a simple, significant way to protect yourself financially before disaster strikes. It also eliminates the risk of stolen checks. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:
Performing tasks at a computer workstation involves repeating the same types of motions over and over again. These types of repetitive motions put stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Prolonged repetitive motion stress can result in repetitive motion injuries. In addition, continuous sitting at a computer workstation can cause pressure on the discs between the vertebra of the back and pooling of blood in the legs. This safety note provides information to reduce the potential for repetitive motion injuries and increase comfort while sitting for long periods of time.
Recommended Computer Workstation Practices
Adjust chair height so that feet are flat on the floor or footrest at about shoulder width.
Canned air is commonly used in offices to clean dust from equipment such as computers and shredders. These products often are used without incident; however, lack of training in proper use can lead to flash fires and injuries, warns the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
Canned air is different from the air we breathe. The products are made of a gas that is compressed into a liquid and canned. The types of gases used vary, and some are dangerous when used improperly. Some of the more common dangers include:
Simple steps in the workplace can help keep workers safe from these dangers associated with canned air products. Washington L&I recommends the following measures:
Canned-air products commonly are used in offices to remove dust from computers, shredders and other electronic equipment. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries warns employers that without proper training, employees may not follow safe practices because they assume the products are harmless. However, a variety of gases used in canned-air products are highly flammable. Follow these basic steps from Washington L&I to help keep your employees safe from hazards associated with canned-air products:
More than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 others are hospitalized.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that often goes undetected, striking victims caught off guard or in their sleep.
This "silent killer" is produced by burning fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, portable generators or furnaces. When the gas builds up in enclosed spaces, people or animals who breathe it can be poisoned. Ventilation does not guarantee safety.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says about 170 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products, such as room heaters. So as the weather turns colder, it's important to take extra precautions.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can result in permanent neurological damage or death, and anyone can be at risk.
The CDC says infants, the elderly, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia or breathing problems are more prone to illness or death, but carbon monoxide doesn't discriminate – especially if certain conditions are present.
In July 2015, for example, four young people and a dog were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning inside a cabin in Maine. Authorities believe they went to bed without shutting off a gas-powered generator running in the basement.
Winter can be a prime time for carbon monoxide poisoning as people turn on their heating systems and mistakenly warm their cars in garages.
The National Safety Council recommends you install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home near the bedrooms. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. The CDC offers these additional tips:
The CPSC says never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm, and do not try to find the source of the gas. Instead, follow these steps:
The U.S. Fire Administration has put together materials on the dangers of carbon monoxide. Included is a list of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.
Low to moderate carbon monoxide poisoning is characterized by:
High level carbon monoxide poisoning results in:
Symptom severity varies depending on the level of carbon monoxide and duration of exposure. Mild symptoms sometimes are mistaken for flu.