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Avoiding heatstroke

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by boozoo, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. boozoo

    boozoo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    With the heat wave now blistering the midwest,I thought it might be beneficial for posters to once again discuss their strategies for avoiding heatstroke. I wear a straw hat and a bandana around my neck that I can take off at intervals and soak with cold water and then put back on. Also pour cold water (from faucette) on the insides of my wrists. That and plenty of water, sometimes with "Emergen -C" in it. Any others?
  2. oneEXMARKfan

    oneEXMARKfan Banned
    Messages: 254

    100 oz Camelbak full of ice water and wet white towel.
  3. BerksLawn

    BerksLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Drink lots of water,Everyone be careful the Minnesota Vikings Corey Stringer died of heat stroke today.
  4. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    oneExmarkfan: What is the camelbak, and did you get at a place online?
    Thankx :D
  5. oneEXMARKfan

    oneEXMARKfan Banned
    Messages: 254

    Oh.....mow money..... a camelbak is the best thing I've bought this year (1st heard about them on here......thanks guys!) http://www.camelbak.com/default2.cfm I could have saved quite a bit if I had ordered on line, but I got mine locally. Check'em out. (most people that have seen mine, have bought one) I got the MULE, and went last week and got the BLOWFISH for my little brother.......always have it with me, EVERYWHERE I go.
  6. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Can you say search function?
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Here is a post that was started July 7, 2001 about the same subject. Below is a post that I feel every member should read in case you don't go to this link and read it.

    Here is a post I copied last summer and saved. This was posted by Ray Kirby last summer.

    I'll have to disagree about temp changes causing death. Changes in body temps do not cause heat stroke, prolonged exposure to heat along with inadequate hydration does. Death from heat stroke is caused from massive blood vessel dilation (and low blood pressure) and high core temperatures which quickly cause brain damage and death. The last heat stroke victim I treated had a core body temp (rectal) of 108 after 30 minutes of cooling. He did not die of exposure to cooler temps, he died from prolonged exposure to the heat without cooling his body off and re-hydrating. ANY TIME YOU ARE WORKING IN EXTREMELY HOT CONDITIONS, ANY OPPORTUNITY TO COOL THE BODY OFF SHOULD BE A WELCOME ONE. The advise of staying away from the "aid" drinks and drinking water is right on the money.

    A little about the topic. Sweat consists primarily of water and some electrolytes, specifically sodium and chloride ions. As long as we can sweat and the sweat can evaporate, we can continue to cool ourselves efficiently. But if for some reason either the sweating mechanism begins to fail or the sweat cannot evaporate, then the cooling mechanism will fail.

    On hot, very humid days, our cooling mechanism is extremely inefficient, and it becomes relatively easy to overheat because the sweat cannot evaporate. The evaporation of sweat from skin accounts for 90% of our cooling ability, therefore cool air blowing from an A/C vent will help. Additionally, our ability to sweat diminishes as we become dehydrated.

    Heat Cramps

    Heat cramps are sometimes associated with heat exhaustion, are painful but not damaging unless they are ignored. As with any cramp, they can be stretched and massaged away. Drinking slightly salty water and resting should keep them from reappearing. If they do reappear, you should stop mowing and take the rest of the day off. Do not take salt tablets!

    Heat Exhaustion

    Heat exhaustion is not a life-threatening illness. Little or no rise in body core temperature will be noted and skin temps will be normal or even cool and moist. Symptoms include fatigue, exhaustion, nausea, lightheadedness and possibly heat cramps. Heat exhaustion usually comes on several hours after exertion and dehydration. You may have even replaced the lost fluids, but not the electrolytes.

    With enough rest and water, heat exhaustion is self-correcting. However, this condition can often be treated rapidly with an electrolyte solution consisting of one teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride) dissolved in a liter of water, which should be slowly sipped over a period of 60 minutes. Add a tablespoon of sugar or a sweet drink powder to replenish energy stores. It's better if the water is cold.

    Heat Stroke CALL 911!!!!

    Heat stroke, on the other hand, is a life-threatening emergency. Without proper care, heat stroke victims will most likely die! Once our cooling mechanism fails, core temperature rises rapidly. Death can occur in as little as 30 minutes. When the core temperature rises, the brain, which can only function in a very narrow temperature range, begins to fail. In an effort to cool the blood and lower the core temperature, the brain will dilate all the blood vessels in the skin. As a result, the skin becomes RED and HOT, but may still be WET. (Note: Classical heat stroke, suffered more commonly by the ill and/or elderly, usually produces HOT/DRY skin from severe dehydration.)

    As the brain overheats, the individual may become disoriented, combative, argumentative, and may hallucinate wildly. The primary goal of therapy is to cool the victim as rapidly as possible. Since the sweating mechanism has failed, we have to sweat for the patient. The simplest and most effective method is to remove all non-cotton clothing and soak the victim with water, fanning to increase the rate of evaporation, and massaging extremities to encourage the return of cool blood to the core. With a limited supply of water, cooling the head and neck becomes the top priority. If available, ice packs should be placed at the neck, armpits and groin, in that order. All heat stroke victims must be transported to the hospital as quickly as possible, continuing the cooling process during evacuation.

    Heat stroke victims are dehydrated and require rehydration. Unfortunately, getting the patient to drink may be impossible. With impaired mental condition, it is inappropriate to force fluids or aspiration may occur. Continue cooling externally in hopes the patient will recover enough to begin oral rehydration.


    Heat stroke, like all heat-related illnesses, is preventable. The same prevention methods that work for dehydration and exhaustion will work for heat stroke. The guiding principle is to stay well hydrated. Do not rely on your thirst mechanism to tell you when and how much you need to drink. Under conditions of exertion, it is probably impossible to drink too much water. Note urine output also.

    Everyone can take any information for what it's worth, it's your life. However the acclimation of heat and increasing body temps will put you at more risk. For me a simple cool down every 35-45 minutes is more than welcome.
  8. oneEXMARKfan

    oneEXMARKfan Banned
    Messages: 254

    Thanks Eric!
  9. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    :( :blush: :(

    I never read that before ... thanks for posting it again, Eric.
  10. TFL

    TFL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    hey i gues everyone heard about the pro football player dieing from heat stroke. the reason he died was because he ignored the syptoms of vomiting and weakness he just waited until practice was over don't wait until your done with a yard stop and cool off frequently.

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