EMT-Chapter 24-Environmental Emergencies
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A sensory receptor that is stimulated by temperature.
- Contains a temperature control center called the thermoregulatory center. It receives input from two different receptors:
- 1. The central thermoreceptors
- 2. The peripheral thermoreceptors
Abnormally low core body temperature.
Transfer of heat from one surface to another without physical contact.
Loss of body heat to the atmosphere when air passes over the body.
Combined cooling effect of wind speed anf environmental temperature.
Transfer of heat through direct physical touch with nearby objects.
Increase in rate of cooling in the presence of water or wet clothing.
Conversion of a liquid or solid into a gas.
The exchange of gases in between an organism and its environment
Abnormally high core body temperature.
- An overall reduction in body temperature, affecting the entire body.
- Thermal control is lost when body reaches 95F(35C).
- Coma occurs at about 74F(26C).
Risk Factors for Generalized Hypothermia
- Ambient temperature, wind chill, and moisture.
- Medical conditions.
- Alcohol, drugs, and poisons.
- Duration of exposure.
- Activity level.
Occurs as a result of lowering of the body temperature from immersion in cool or cold water.
Hypothermia precipitated by a too cool indoor or outdoor environment.
Stages of Hypothermia
- Apathy and decreased muscle function
- Decreased level of responsiveness
- Decreased vital signs
A life-threatening late complication of hypothyroidism (lack of secretion of a hormone by the thyroid).
Local Cold Injury
- Damage from cold exposure to tissues in a specific part of the body.
- Stage 1: Early or superficial cold injury
- -ears, nose, cheekbones
- -skin usually still remains soft but hard to touch
- Stage 2: Late or deep cold injury
- -skin is white and waxy
- -palpation feels solid
Technique of aggressively applying external sources of heat to a patient to rewarm his body.
The use of the patient's own heat production and the conservation mechanisms to rewarm him.
- Least serious form of heat-related injury.
- Caused by electrolyte imbalance to the muscles, mostly from overexertions in hot temperatures with excessive diaphoresis.
- Extreme physical exertion in a hot, humid environment.
- Disturbs blood flow, resulting in a mild state of shock.
- Occurs when the body's cooling mechanism have been expended, and the CNS and other systems are starting to show consequences of this depletion.
Occurs when the thermoregulatory mechanism of the body fails to sense and compensate for elevations of the core temperature, and an extremely high core temperature results.
Predisposing factors for heat related injuries
- Exercise and strenuous activity
- Pre-existing illness
- Certain drugs and medication
- Lack of acclimation
- Patient with ALS who has hot skin should be considered priority transport.
- If the patient is unresponsive, ALS, or vomiting, do not give H2O
Emergency Care for Bite or Sting
- 1. If the stinger is still present, remove it gently by scraping it against it.
- 2. Wash the area around the bite or sting gently with a mild agent or strong soap solution.
- 3. Remove any jewelry or other constricting objects ASAP.
- 4. Lower the injection site below the level of the heart.
- 5. Apply a cold pack to an insect bite or sting to relieve.
- 6. Some experts advise the use of a constricting band proximal to the bite
- 7. Observe patient carefully for signs and symptoms
- 8. Keep the patient calm, limit his physical activity, and keep him warm. Transport ASAP.
For Marine Life Poisoning
- Use forceps to remove any material that sticks to the stinging site.
- Do not attempt to remove spines that are embedded in joints or that are deeply embedded in the skin.
- If stung by jellyfish, coral, hydra, or anemone, carefully remove the dried tentacles and pour vinegar above the affected area. Pour meat tenderizer if available.
- Apply heat or soak the affected area in hot water for at least 30min.
Emergency Care for Lighting Strikes
- Scene safety
- Put out any related fire.
- In-line manual stabilization
- CPR/AED if applicable
- Completely immobilize the patient
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