29 September 2011

Preventing Heat Stroke Post 1

Posted by Jody under: Alternative Medicine .

Hiking and long walks go hand in hand with water. Here is a scenario of what happened to one couple. Read-on, it sounds normal, doesn’t it? If you were in their shoes, would you have been in trouble?

Fred and Carol went bird watching in Big Bear one summer day. They decided to hike 3 miles into the woods to a remote site where they thought they could see plenty of different bird species. Each carried a liter of bottled water. It was a beautiful day — clear, warm, and sunny with a gentle breeze. They reached their destination by noon and both were hot and sweaty. They sat for several hours eating fruit, drinking water, and watching birds with binoculars.

Towards mid-afternoon Fred started complaining of thirst. So, they decided to return to their car and get more water. The hike back seemed to take a long time because both were tired and stopped periodically to view birds along the way. Once they reached the car, Carol felt a little nauseous and light-headed. Carol noticed that Fred was acting strange. He was slightly disoriented and very argumentative. He kept complaining of being very hot, tired, and thirsty. Because of this, Carol decided they should head for home.

As they drove toward home, Fred became more disoriented and combative. He began to yell and appeared to be hallucinating. Carol drove immediately to the nearest emergency room. After being seen by a doctor, Fred was admitted to the ICU. After three days of monitoring and fluid therapy, Fred was stable and discharged home from the hospital. It was Carol’s quick action the saved Fred’s life. Fred suffered from three common heat-related emergencies: dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Usually the body is able to prevent dehydration by triggering intense thirst until we drink enough to become fully hydrated. However, it is possible to lose fluid so quickly that the normal thirst mechanism is overwhelmed or overridden. The source of fluid loss by the body is in the form of respiration, perspiration, urination and defecation.

The rate of loss from each varies according to the health of the individual, activity level, air temperature, humidity and altitude. The body normally loses 4 liters of water a day, which is replaced through the liquids and foods we consume. Exercise, diarrheas, temperature or altitude can significantly increase the amount of fluid required.

Water Loss Weight Loss Symptoms Caused by Dehydration

0 0% Thirst, slowing down, nausea, weariness, emotional instability.
3 Liters 5% Dizziness, garbled speech, stumbling, headache, fever, pulse, respiratory rate, weak-ness, mental confusion.
6 Liters 10% Delirium, swollen tongue, low blood volume circulation, renal functioning.
9 Liters 15% Inability to swallow, cracked skin, painful or no urination.
12 Liters 20% Questionable chance of survival.

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