Thursday, 14 July 2011

Holiday First aid - be prepared!

Being too Hot:

When we become hot we sweat - leading to loss of water and salt.

Heat exhaustion can be caused by hot humid conditions, fever. Groups particularly

susceptible to the heat include the elderly, the very young,

and people with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

Signs and Symptoms:

Gradual onset.

Cold, pale skin with sweating.

Headache and confusion.

 Loss of appetite, or feeling or being sick.

Cramps in the limbs and abdomen.

Feeling dizzy or fainting.


 Place the casualty in a cool place or shade.

Sponge the skin with tepid water.

 Fan the casualty.

 Give the casualty plenty of cool water to drink.

If there is no improvement contact the doctor

or local emegency service.

Look out for the casualty stopping sweating. When we get too hot the body’s ‘thermostat’

(hypothalamus) fails, and we stop sweating. This indicates heat stroke, and is a medical emergency

needing urgent medical assistance.
Panic Attack

Unlike most airway and breathing problems, hyperventilation is where

someone is taking too much air.

One of the most common causes for hyperventilation is a panic attack. The symptoms

of the hyperventilation often make the casualty panic more,

which creates a cycle. If the cycle is not broken, and the casualty

carries on overbreathing they will faint (this will return the

breathing to normal). Panic attacks are likely to be very

distressing for the casualty, and the onset may be very quick.

Possible Signs, Symptoms and Clues:

Overwhelming panic and anxiety.

Excessive gasping breathing.

Feeling dizzy or faint.

Chest pains, or feeling that the heart is beating irregularly

(this may lead to the casualty thinking they are having a heart


Shivering or trembling.

Sweating or hot flushes.

Pins and needles.

 'Out of body' feeling.


 Encourage the casualty to relax. Stay calm yourself. Explain what is happening.

 Get the casualty to take continuous small sips of water to help control breathing.


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