Your body regulates it's temperature, keeping it stable at 37 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature at which all organs and tissue function optimally. Deviation from this optimum is an indication that something is wrong.
Hyperthermia describes overheating. This is where the bodies temperature rises above 37.5 degrees Celsius.
- Prolonged heat exposure
- Heavy clothing
- Being overweight
- Sleep deprivation
- Confined space/ lack of ventilation
- Illegal drugs (Cocaine, Heroin etc.)
Signs & Symptoms
- Abdominal/muscle cramps
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Headache/ dizziness
- Heavy or lack of sweat
At the onset of heat stroke, symptoms include:
- Odd or bizarre behaviour
- Delusions/ hallucinations
- Coma/ Seizures
Ensure scene safety
Remove or protect from hot environment
Give cool fluids to drink
Reduce the casualties body temperature by:
- Removing tight or unnecessary clothing
- Tepid sponging
Monitor vital signs
Maintain care until handover to appropriate Practitioner
CPGs - Hyperthermia
This is where the bodies temperature falls below 35 C
- Body losing heat faster than it is produced
- Cold temperature exposure
- Cold water exposure
S = Signs & Symptoms
- Slurred speech or mumbling.
- Slow, shallow breathing.
- Slow pulse.
- Clumsiness or lack of coordination.
- Drowsiness or very low energy.
- Confusion or memory loss.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Cyanosis – blueish skin
- Protect patient from wind chill
- Complete primary survey
- Call 112/999
- Remove wet clothing by cutting
- Place patient in dry blankets/ sleeping bag with insulation
- Give hot sweet drinks
- Maintain care until handover to appropriate Practitioner
CPGs - Hypothermia