Sunday, April 23, 2017
   
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Electrocution & Heat related conditions

Electrocution

The passage of electrical current through the body can cause cardiac arrest, burning, and shock. Many injuries result from faulty switches, frayed cables or defects in electrical appliances.

Whatever the cause of an electrical accident, never touch the casualty with bare hands unless you are sure there is no danger to yourself.

Treatment

  1. Switch off the electrical supply if possible or remove fuse.
  2. Remove the casualty from contact with electrical source, using non-conductive articles such as a dry brush handle, dry rope or piece of clothing.
  3. Call for help.
  4. If breathing and heartbeat have stopped, begin the A-B-C of resuscitation immediately.
  5. If the casualty is breathing, but unconscious, place him in the recovery position.
  6. Treat any burns.
  7. Treat for shock.

Heat related conditions

The human body maintains a temperature between 36-37o C. Your body regulates excess heat by sweating. Therefore you should drink plenty of water to maintain your fluid balance. Heat related conditions are brought on by exposure to high temperatures and humidity.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are the result of an imbalance in the body fluids caused by vigorous activity, dehydration and high temperatures. The body loses more fluids than it is replacing. This fluid debit causes muscles to lose their vital electrolyte balance (complex salts), thus causing muscular contraction (cramps).

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Pale, clammy skin.
  2. Sweating (after some form of exertion).
  3. Cramping pains (in the limbs and/or abdomen).
  4. Nausea.
  5. Spasms (affected limb or limbs).

Treatment

  1. Rest the victim in the shade.
  2. Give sips of water to drink (after nausea has passed).
  3. Don't massage affected limbs.
  4. Discourage any further exercise.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat Exhaustion, also called Heat Prostration or Heat Collapse is caused during or after exertion accompanied by heat and high humidity. It affects all people but particularly the very young and elderly.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Pale, clammy skin.
  2. Profuse and prolonged sweating.
  3. Cramps in the limbs and/or abdomen
  4. Nausea and/or vomiting
  5. Headache
  6. Lethargy

Treatment

  1. Rest the victim is the shade.
  2. Discourage any further exertion.
  3. Cool down casualty by sponging. (use tepid water)
  4. Give cool water to drink (cautiously, after nausea has passed).

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is known as a Core Temperature Emergency. Heat stroke can be fatal if left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Flushed, hot, dry skin.
  2. The victim will have ceased sweating.
  3. Rapid, strong pulse.
  4. Aggressive or irrational behavior
  5. Staggering, Dizziness or Faintness
  6. Visual disturbances
  7. Vomiting
  8. Collapse and seizures
  9. Coma

Treatment

  1. Call an ambulance.
  2. Move the victim into the shade.
  3. Remove victim's clothing
  4. Cool down the casualty. (use whatever is available)
  5. Prepared to resuscitate if required.
  6. Give nothing by mouth - rehydration is required by intravenous fluids
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