The early symptoms of heatstroke are similar to
those of heat exhaustionheadache, nausea, and
dizziness. At first, the victims breathing is deep and
rapid; but, as the symptoms progress, breathing
becomes shallow, almost absent. The skin appears
flushed, dry, and very hot. The pupils are constricted to
a pinpoint; the pulse is fast and strong. It is extremely
important that you recognize the differences between
heat exhaustion and heatstroke. HEATSTROKE IS A
TRUE LIFE-AND-DEATH EMERGENCY.
The most important first-aid treatment for a
heatstroke victim is to lower the victims body heat.
Move the victim to a cool place. Douse the victim with
cold water. Remove as much of the victims clothing as
possible to allow free flow of air over the body to
promote cooling. If the victim is conscious, give him/her
cool water to drink. Transport the victim to a medical
facility as quickly as possible.
So far, we have discussed heat-related problems and
the first-aid treatment for heat stress. However, you will
be much better off if you learn what you can do to
prevent heat stress.
In spaces where heat stress is likely to occur, it is
difficult to lower temperatures. Therefore, preventing
heat stress-related conditions is the goal. Monitoring
conditions that bring about heat stress and controlling
the crews exposure to high-heat and high-humidity
conditions reduces the chances of heat stress.
Some of the factors that cause heat stress are as
l Unnecessary heat and humidity sources
l Steam leaks
. Damaged insulation
Report these types of conditions so they can be
corrected. Vents and exhaust blowers should be adjusted
to maintain proper air circulation.
On board ship, spaces are ventilated by ductwork
connected to supply (intake) and exhaust blowers. These
blowers (or fans) are driven by two-speed electric
motors. Exhaust fans have a greater air-moving capacity
than supply fans. Unless personnel are otherwise
directed, supply and exhaust ventilation fans are set to
the SAME speed. It is important that you understand the
need to MAINTAIN FLOW. If you do not MAINTAIN
FLOW, the following could happen to you. A watch
stander in a hot space sets the supply blower to high
speed and then stands under the outlet.
Usually, you can tell whether the speed of the vent
blowers for a space is set correctly by how hard it is for
you to open or shut the doors to the space. For example,
if a door opens outward and it is hard to close, then the
space has a POSITIVE pressure. This means that the
supply vent is probably set on high speed, and the
exhaust vent is set on low speed.
Another common problem with shipboard
ventilation systems is improper care of system filters.
Filters are installed at the intake of the supply blowers
to prevent dust and dirt from entering the ship. Cleaning
these falters is considered to be routine maintenance. If,
however, filter cleaning is neglected or is poorly done,
the temperature of shipboard working and living spaces
increases because there is a reduced flow of coding air.
Spaces considered to be heat-stress areas should contain
a heat-stress monitor to measure the heat-stress
On an individual level, wear clothing so there is
some air circulation between the clothing and your body.
Whenever you perform heavy physical labor, eat lightly
and take a rest period before resuming heavy exertion.
The Navy has established strict space
environmental monitoring requirements for heat-stress
conditions. These heat-stress surveys, together with
strict exposure limit standard tables, control the amount
of time a person may remain in certain high-temperature
and high-humidity conditions before being REQUIRED
to go to a cool place and rest. For more information
about heat injury, you should refer to Shipboard Heat
Stress Control and Personnel Protection, OPNAVINST
5100.20 (series), and Navy Occupational Safety and
Health (NAVOSH) program Manual for Forces Afloat,
OPNAVINST 5100.19 (series).
Heat illnesses and injuries are primarily caused by
the loss of body fluids and salts. Preventing these
illnesses and injuries centers on replacing body fluids
and salts, monitoring the environment, and controlling
exposure. For example, in a hot environment, fluids
must be replaced ounce for ounce. Therefore, when you
are sweating heavily, increase your water intake
proportionately. Meals provide salts to replace those lost
through sweating. Therefore, if you work in a high-heat
and high-humidity environment, you should eat
well-balanced meals at regular intervals, salted to taste.
You should get at least 6 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
Wear clean clothing made from at least 35 percent
cotton. Do NOT wear starched clothing. Do NOT