Archive for the ‘high temperatures’ Tag

Heat Illnesses Can be Fatal; Would You Know What to Do?

Did you know your body is constantly in a struggle to disperse the heat it produces? Most of the time, you’re hardly aware of it – unless your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle.

In 2011, 587 people died in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat, according to Injury Facts 2015, the annual statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council. Heat-related illnesses can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.

There are several heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke (the most severe), heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Those most at risk include:

Infants and young children

Elderly people

Pets

Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness

People who work outdoors

Athletes and people who like to exercise – especially beginners

Individuals taking medications that alter sweat production

Alcoholics and drug abusers

Heatstroke

Heatstroke can occur when the ability to sweat fails and body temperature rises quickly. The brain and vital organs are effectively “cooked” as body temperature rises to a dangerous level in a matter of minutes. Heatstroke is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their organs.

Someone experiencing heatstroke will have extremely hot skin, and an altered mental state, ranging from slight confusion to coma. Seizures also can result. Ridding the body of excess heat is crucial for survival.

Move the person into a half-sitting position in the shade

Call for emergency medical help immediately

If humidity is below 75%, spray the victim with water and fan them vigorously; if humidity is above 75%, apply ice to neck, armpits or groin

Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen

Do not give the victim anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion

When the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water, heat exhaustion can set in. People who work outdoors and athletes are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and can include severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, diarrhea. Other symptoms include profuse sweating, clammy or pale skin, dizziness, rapid pulse and normal or slightly elevated body temperature.

Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke, so make sure to treat the victim quickly.

Move them to a shaded or air-conditioned area

Give them water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages

Apply wet towels or having them take a cool shower

Heat cramps

Heat cramps are muscle spasms that usually affect the legs or abdominal muscles, often after physical activity. Excessive sweating reduces salt levels in the body, which can result in heat cramps.

Workers or athletes with pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs should not return to work for a few hours. Instead:

Sit or lie down in the shade.

Drink cool water or a sports drink.

Stretch affected muscles.

Seek medical attention if you have heart problems or if the cramps don’t get better in an hour.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers more information on heat-related illness in this FAQ.

The best way to avoid a heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors during hot days. Air conditioning is the best way to cool off, according to the CDC. Also:

Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol

Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat

Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks

Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself

Pace yourself when you run or otherwise exert your body

Read more at: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-surviving-the-hot-weather.aspx

A/C Service: Keep Your Car Cool When Things Heat Up

Sitting in traffic when temperatures soar without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system is the last place most drivers want to be. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and have their A/C system checked annually to make sure it is working at peak performance when they need it most.

A vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps the interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. Typical A/C service consists of the following steps:

– Service technician visually inspects hoses, lines, seals and other components for leaks as well as inspect the drive belt for cracks or damage.

– Technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures.

– If the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test is performed to find the source of the leak.

– Keep in mind that if your vehicle is leaking refrigerant, it is damaging the ozone layer.

– Refrigerant may be added if necessary to “top off” the system, although some states do not allow “topping off.”

– A technician may also check for evidence of refrigerant cross-contamination, which is the mixing of refrigerants.

– A/C service should also include a check of the compressor’s drive belt and tension.

– The Car Care Council also recommends that when having a vehicle’s HVAC system inspected, the cabin air filter be checked to make sure air is flowing properly into the car.

“Making sure your A/C system is working properly will keep you cool and safe when you hit the road this summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit http://www.carcare.org.

Read more at: http://www.carcare.org/2015/06/ac-service-keep-your-car-cool/