Beat the heat with St. John Ambulance survival tips



    First aid for heat exhaustion, heatstroke, sunburns and burns

    OTTAWA, Aug. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Severe and lengthy heat waves can be
dangerous. St. John Ambulance urges families to watch for these signs and
provide immediate first aid measures.

    Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is caused by exposure to excessive heat and is often
accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Some of the following signs and symptoms
may be present; muscular cramps; headache; dizziness; exhaustion; cold,
clammy, pale skin; weak and rapid pulse; and rapid shallow breathing.

    
    1)  Place the person at rest in a cool place with feet and legs elevated.
        Loosen constrictive clothing and remove excess clothing.
    2)  Give a fully conscious casualty as much water as he or she is able to
        drink. If unconscious, do not give anything by mouth. Put the
        unconscious person into the recovery position. Monitor airway,
        breathing and circulation closely.
    

    Heatstroke

    Heatstroke, a life-threatening condition, is caused by exposure to high
temperatures and hot, dry winds or high humidity and poor circulation. Signs
and symptoms include a flushed face and hot skin, which may be either wet or
dry, a temperature of 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) or higher, a rapid and full
pulse, noisy breathing, restlessness, headache and dizziness.
    Unconsciousness may develop quickly and convulsions may occur. The person
may die unless the body temperature is reduced quickly. To do so, remove the
casualty's clothing and bathe him or her in cool water or wrap in a wet, cool
sheet. Keep the sheet wet. If unconscious, put the person into the recovery
position. When the body temperature is lowered to 38 degrees C (slightly above
normal), cover the person with a dry sheet and keep as cool as possible.

    Sunburn

    For minor sunburn, place the person in the shade and apply cool water or
cloths soaked in cool water. Commercial ointment or cream may be used
(Caution: an allergic reaction might occur.) Extreme sun exposure may cause
swelling and blistering. Such cases should be treated as a severe burn.

    
    Burns

    1)  Lessen swelling and blistering, and relieve pain by immediately
        immersing the burned area in cool water or by applying cloths soaked
        in cool water. Do not place a burn under extreme water pressure, such
        as a strong-running tap, since it may further damage the tissues.
    2)  Remove rings or other jewellery and constrictive clothing before
        swelling or blistering occurs. Do not remove clothing that is stuck
        to the burned area. Do not apply butter, ointments or oil dressings.
    3)  Cover the burned area with a dry, sterile dressing if possible,
        otherwise use a clean cloth.
    

    These survival tips will assist you with heat-related emergency
situations but they should never be considered as a replacement for a first
aid course. In any emergency situation always obtain trained medical
assistance as quickly as possible.
    These first aid and survival tips are put together by experienced first
aid professionals from St. John Ambulance Canada.





For further information:

For further information: please call - 1-888-840-5646 or
jennifer.lavoie@nhq.sja.ca; Please visit www.sja.ca to download Spring and
Summer - First Aid and Survival Tips

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St. John Ambulance - National Office

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