Thermal Distress and Heat Injury - Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a serious heat injury caused by increased exercise heat load plus dehydration.

"core" (rectal) temperature elevated, usually not above 39.5t; "goose flesh", headache, lethargy, altered consciousness, nausea, vomiting, incoordination.

*Move to a cool, shaded area.
*Remove excess clothing.
*Begin immediate cooling with cold or iced cloths, sponges, etc. to torso, axillae, groin, other exposed areas.
*Begin hydration with cool fluids, orally if possible, otherwise start IV fluids (D/W, D/0.5N saline).
*Monitor vital signs, rectal temperature if possible.
*Consider transfer to hospital, depending on response to therapy.

-Heat exhaustion/Heat Injury Prevention
*Avoid competition under adverse conditions, or adjust pace to existing conditions.
*Utilize acclimatization measures prior to competition.
*Pre-hydrate; emphasize hydration during the competition.
*Wear appropriate clothing which will "breathe" and allow sweat to evaporate.
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