Overheating of the body of the victims of the disaster while they are in the ocean on rescue boats, treatment and prevention.

While in the ocean, in this gigantic water desert, in life-saving rescue craft, disaster survivors have to deal with various environmental factors that adversely affect their bodies. So, when swimming in low latitudes, the victims often overheat the body. 

Overheating of the body of the victims of a disaster while they are in the ocean on lifeboats, treatment and prevention.

Thermal damage in the tropical zone of the World Ocean is due to the high temperature of outdoor air, sea water and intense solar radiation. The air in these areas is heated to 32–40 degrees and above, water to 30 degrees, and the annual total solar radiation is 120–180 kcal / cm2.

body temperature, a disorder of all functions and systems of the body. It is due to the lack of physiological thermoregulation in conditions of elevated ambient temperature.

Overheating is facilitated by the stillness of the air and its high humidity, increased carbon dioxide content, wearing dense fabrics, intense physical activity and many other factors. Of great importance is also the individual sensitivity of a person to increased heat exposure and his fitness.

When overheated, the human body includes thermoregulatory mechanisms that contribute to increased heat transfer. The most important of these are increased heat dissipation and enhanced pulmonary ventilation. Evaporation of 1 liter of water by the body leads to the loss of 580 calories of heat. However, with every drop of sweat lost, the risk of dehydration increases, which contributes to even more overheating of the body. There is a vicious circle leading to the depletion of human defenses.

In the development of acute overheating, three phases can be distinguished:

1 – phase of compensatory thermoregulation.
2 – phase debt thermoregulation. Disorders of body functions occur, but they are still reversible.
3 – phase decompensation of thermoregulation. Dysfunctions of the body may be irreversible.

In severe cases of overheating, death occurs due to paralysis of vital centers: the medulla oblongata and acute adrenal insufficiency. Acute overheating of the body according to severity is divided into mild, moderate and severe.

In the initial stages of the disease, general weakness, thirst, fatigue, stiffness of movements, drowsiness or irritability, headache, nausea and vomiting are noted. Breathing and pulse quickens, body temperature rises to 37–37.5 degrees. Possible fainting.

Subsequently, with an average form of lesion, short-term loss of consciousness, impaired coordination of motor acts, and pronounced shortness of breath join the described signs. Body temperature rises to 39–40 degrees.

For a severe degree of overheating, an increase in pathological phenomena is characteristic. The victim is agitated, convulsions, loss of consciousness (heat stroke), involuntary urination and defecation, or urinary retention and vomiting are noted. The pulse is sharply quickened, an increase in body temperature up to 41 degrees is possible. Death occurs with paralysis of the respiratory center.

A prolonged stay in conditions of overheating causes a violation of protein iodine-salt metabolism, a change in the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular and central nervous systems. With chronic overheating, neurasthenic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and anemic variants of the disease are distinguished.

Other hazards of a hot climate.

A variety of thermal lesions is also thermal swelling of the legs and feet. It occurs in the first 7–10 days in the tropics and is a fairly frequent reaction of the human body to climate change. Swelling may be accompanied by the appearance on the skin of the legs and feet of a symmetrical rash in the form of small pink dots.

Under the influence of a climate of low latitudes, an asthenic reaction to the heat may occur, which manifests itself as headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbance, etc. During swimming in the tropical zone of the World Ocean there is a danger of a solar shock.

In this case, the general overheating of the body is not necessary, since it (shock) arises due to the irritation of the nerve centers due to the direct exposure of the sun to an unprotected head. The victim complains of general weakness, dizziness, nausea. Vomiting, diarrhea are possible. Sometimes convulsions, delusions and loss of consciousness occur..

First aid for heat damage, prevention of overheating of the body.

First aid for thermal damage should be aimed at lowering the general (or local – during sunstroke) body temperature and the restoration of basic dysfunctions, due to the acceleration of heat transfer by the body. To do this, when the first signs of overheating of the victim appear, it is necessary to place the victim in a shade, under a canopy, take off his clothes, wet wipe or dousing with cool water.

If possible, ice bubbles or wet wipes are placed on the head, as well as on the inguinal and axillary areas, as large blood vessels pass close to the surface of the body.

To prevent overheating in people while sailing in the tropical ocean using life-saving equipment, it is important that rafts and dinghies have awnings to protect against excessive solar radiation. Properly organized nutrition and rational use of water are of the same importance. It should be remembered that the most high-calorie foods should be consumed in the evening, and in the afternoon you need to quench thirst and hunger in small portions of water and food..

We must not forget about the danger of sunburn (ultraviolet) burns, which are very painful. Open areas of the skin and face must be lubricated with a protective cream, covered with a visor, etc. Remember that sunlight reflected from water irritates the eyes, therefore, if there are dark glasses, they must be worn.

Based on the book Encyclopedia of Survival at Sea.
Potapov A.V..

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