Heat Illness Prevention & Sun Safety

Types of Heat Illness

Last Updated: June 06, 2019


​Heat exhaustion (Armed Forces Reportable Medical Event)
Signs and Symptoms:
  • dizziness, headache, nausea, weakness, unsteady gait, muscle cramps, fatigue
  • core temperature elevated but remains below 104⁰F
  • symptoms resolve rapidly with cooling interventions
Treatment:
  • rest Soldier in shade
  • loosen uniform/remove head gear
  • heave Soldier drink 1.5 quarts of water over 1 hour
  • evacuate if no improvement in 15-20 minutes, or if Soldier's condition worsens


Heat stroke (Armed Forces Reportable Medical Event)
Signs and Symptoms:
  • Primary symptom is change in mental status (confusion, delirium, combative, loss of consciousness)
  • profuse sweating, vomiting, weakness, convulsions and chills
  • Heat strokes are a medical emergency and in severe cases can be fatal – initiate rapid cooling and Medevac
  • the faster the body is cooled, the less damage to the brain and organs
Treatment:
  • call EMS or for MEDEVAC
  • remove all out clothing
  • initiate rapid cooling with ice sheets
    • cover all but the face with ice sheets
    • ensure the ice sheet is soaked prior to applying to the Soldier
    • switch ice sheets every 6 minutes with new ice sheets


Hyponatremia
Signs and Symptoms:
  • mental status changes
  • repeated vomiting (clear vomit)
  • excessive water intake
  • poor food intake
  • abdomen distended/bloated
  • large amounts of clear urine
Treatment:
  • verify sodium
  • do not give more water or IV fluids
  • if awake, allow Soldier to consume salty foods
  • evacuate immediately