View Full Version : Heat injuries can be easily prevented

06-21-2006, 02:43 PM
It seems that here at Ft Lee we are always telling the Soldiers "drink water, Private, drink water", yet some of us seasoned warriors fail to stay properly hydrated ourselves.
Those of us military folks, as well as some civilians, who work out constantly need to remember that....

Heat injuries can be easily prevented

By J.T. Coleman

http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/uploads/medium/2006/OCPA-2006-06-16-095046.jpg (http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/uploads/large/2006/OCPA-2006-06-16-095046.jpg)
The human body needs water to maintain proper blood volume, which helps the body to regulate heat and perspire, according to the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.
Courtesy photo

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Army News Service, June 16, 2006) – Taking a drink of water when thirsty may be too little, too late in some cases.

“You may already be 1-2 percent dehydrated at this stage, which could result in impaired performance, coordination and concentration,” said Dr. John Campbell, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center Command Surgeon. “Coffee, tea, juice and sodas are not substitutes for water. In fact, some of these are diuretics and can cause you to lose more body fluids.”

More than 1,700 heat injuries occurred Army-wide in FY05 according to Brig. Gen. Michael B. Cates, commander of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. Of those injuries, 258 people suffered from heat stroke and 1,467 suffered from heat exhaustion.

“Steps could have been taken to reduce these injuries,” said Campbell.

Staying hydrated is critical because it helps maintain proper blood volume, which allows the body to perspire and regulate heat, according to the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine Web site.

According to Army Technical Bulletin MED507, titled Heat Stress Control and Heat Casualty Management, people performing routine activities should drink six to eight quarts of water a day. People in hot environments, or who perform strenuous activities, should increase to between nine to 12 quarts.

“Heat injuries can be preventable,” said Campbell. “Leaders, supervisors and Soldiers must keep an eye on each other and look for the early warning signs.”

Early warning signs of heat stress include dizziness, headache, nausea, unsteady walk, weakness or fatigue, and muscle cramps.

USACHPPM cautions that over-hydration, or water intoxication, can also be harmful. Some of the symptoms include confusion, weakness and vomiting. Individuals who exhibit these symptoms but are still eating, drinking and urinating should seek emergency treatment.

Heat injury prevention is a command, leadership and personal responsibility. Proper use of Composite Risk Management will help reduce the likelihood of heat injuries.

“Heat injuries and illness pose a serious threat to our Army’s force – and a loss of one of our Army team is always deeply felt,” Campbell said. “Soldiers and civilians are deployed in some of the hottest areas in the world. We want everyone to stay in the fight and continue to Own the Edge.”

Additional resources:

USACRC www.crc.army.mil (https://www.crc.army.mil/)

USACHPPM chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/heat (http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/heat/)

AR 40-5 Preventive Medicine dated 22 July, 2005 www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r40_5.pdf (http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r40_5.pdf)

TB MED 507 Heat Stress Control and Heat Casualty Management dated 1985 www.army.mil/usapa/med/DR_pubs/dr_a/pdf/tbmed507.pdf (http://www.army.mil/usapa/med/DR_pubs/dr_a/pdf/tbmed507.pdf)

FM 21-20 Physical Fitness Training dated 1998

https://akocomm.us.army.mil/usapa/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_aa/pdf/fm21_20.pdf (https://akocomm.us.army.mil/usapa/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_aa/pdf/fm21_20.pdf)

(Editor's note: J.T. Coleman writes for the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center.)

The Searcher
06-21-2006, 04:48 PM
Thanks for a good reminder.

I can personally attest to the fact that thirst is not a good indicator. I was not thirsty at all until it was too late.

06-21-2006, 04:49 PM
That is one of my main problems, I do not drink enough water. Too much soda!:mad: