Podcast Episode 69: Hot Weather Injury

A Special Operation Medic watches as TCCC training is conducted in the grueling heat

Hot weather injuries are an issue medics have to account for even when not deployed. Proper planning, recognition and treatment can greatly reduce frequency and severity of these patients and their outcomes.

Before you listen to podcasts, let’s go over some talking points as a little pop quiz or a refresher to stay humble and check integrity. These are Socratic questions you can ask yourself, send to one of your other buddies to nerd out on, or bring into conversation with your fellow medics on the next workday. The podcast will cover these.

1.)  During a long physical event on a hot summer day you have an ataxic patient that is profusely sweating, and the core temperature reads 105+. There is another Medic there with you and they don’t think the patient needs evacuation since he is so profusely sweating that it cannot be heat stroke. Could he be wrong and are you willing to use or “waste” evacuation assets on this patient?

2.) When cooling down a patient such as the one above, your patient starts shivering. What does that mean and what can you do about it? Physically or with medication? 

3.) If you had a patient with heat stroke, are they fine once their body temperature reaches a more normal state, or are they going to have some follow on and longer-term systemic issues?

4.) On a heat exhaustion or heat stroke patient, should you get an IV first or start rapidly cooling first? How effective is an IV for these patients?  how much fluid can you consider versus what is the damage of giving too much? 

5.) How can we cool down patients without ice sheets or an ice bath? Perhaps this was a surprisingly warm days it wasn’t necessarily summer so the ice sheets were not planned, it is too austere of a situation for you to have ice with you at the moment, or even further down Murphy’s Law is that you have multiple heat casualties and are already using your ice for your more critical ones…

6.) If it’s a cold Winter where you are currently stationed, but in a few weeks you are deploying to a very hot country, What are some ways you can help acclimate yourself and recommend to your team that they do in order to prepare?  how long will it take? 

These are just some of the topics covered in this podcast. What are some of the myths, huge talking points you do not necessarily consider, or other comments you have about these patients? Drop them in the comments below, or join our discussion on the Facebook page. Thank you for listening to the PFC podcast. 

Click here to go to the podcast on iTunes

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