Exertional heat illness review for med students

Fact check! Test your knowledge of heat illness and ways to prevent it based on CHAMP’s video series on exertional heat illness.

  1. Health & age
  2. Dehydration
  3. Prolonged exposure to the sun
  4. Poor heat acclimatization
  5. Underlying medical conditions
prevent heatstroke

Service Members can be at risk for exertional heat illness for many reasons, including:

  • Required protective clothing during training and while on duty
  • Working conditions like naval ship boiler rooms and combat vehicles
  • Field training in extreme heat without proper hydration

Exertional heat illness is mitigated by being aware of risks, ensuring acclimatization and hydration, rapidly identifying heat illness, and seeking immediate treatment such as cold-water immersion for the affected individuals.

Exertional heat stroke can cause organ damage, which can be fatal.

  1. Tachycardia
  2. Orthostasis
  3. Diaphoresis
  4. Flushed skin
  5. Body temperature from 101-104℉ (38.3-40℃)
  1. Acute kidney injury
  2. Liver injury
  3. Rhabdomyolysis

Full heat acclimatization can take up to 2 weeks.

champ whec
  1. Arm immersion
  2. Cold-water shower
  3. Ice sheets
  4. “Ice Burrito” technique
  1. Clinical lab analysis
  2. Medical observation
  3. Communication with patient
  4. Transfer to higher level of care

The affected Service Member can return to active duty after an established diagnosis, a return-to-normal state from an end-organ injury, and a period of recovery that allows for exercise and heat acclimatization.

Published on: April 25, 2022

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