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Hello and Welcome!!! Itâ€™s Medical Monday!!!
Todayâ€™s Topic is: HEAT EXHAUSTION!!
So, itâ€™s 66 degrees here in NYC so I thought I should talk about it considering that with this mild winter, we may be seeing a spike in temperature this summer.
So if the Apocalypse occurs in Summer time (as opposed to 12/21/12), there will be issues of heat-related illness. First, How to prevent it: HYDRATION, HYDRATION, and HYDRATION!!!! Make sure that you have clean, drinkable water. You may want to drink Gatorade, as it comes in a bottle and you donâ€™t have to worry about it being â€œuncleanâ€. But if you are one of those people who plan on camping in the Zompoc, you need to boil your water and then WAIT UNTIL IT HAS COOLED DOWN to drink it. Staying hydrated is half the battle.
Where you choose your location also matters. Donâ€™t plan on holing up in a closed space like an apartment complex, unless you can safely open your windows without the threat of zombies or looters finding their way in. If you are out in the wilderness, make sure you have a place that is shaded (i.e., not out in an open field) and that area has a nice cross breeze. Air conditioners will be a thing of the past with no electricity. Also they make a lot of noise.
The first signs of dehydration and impending â€œdoomâ€ related to heat stroke are: muscle cramps after exertion, a â€œheat rashâ€, fatigue, nausea with or without vomiting, dizziness, an elevated heart rate above 100 beats per minute, and the WORST sign is you are no longer sweating. You can also have a fever that can go above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. People can become very confused and delirious. Now, the extreme fever may â€œmimicâ€ the â€œzombie virusâ€ if the zombie virus causes fever (but we donâ€™t know what the zombie virus will do since it is still hypothetical). This would be a good time to strip everyone down to find the source if there is a bite. But if you watched TWD this week, you may not need a bite!!! But stripping them down will help cool them, so just do it anyway.
This is when you find a safe location and just SIP (not gulp!) water for a few hours. This is when Gatorade is preferable over water. You need sugar in the intestines in order to absorb water!!! You should probably have some electrolytes to replace the ones you sweat out. Pedialyte also works (and is better for hangovers!!!). If you decide youâ€™re just gunna chug the stuff, you WILL vomit and then youâ€™re in a worse condition than when you started.
If someone in your group has these signs and symptoms, finding some instant cold packs and putting them under their armpits and in their groin (on the insides of the legs) and also the sides of the neck (so you need 6 ice packs) would work the best to cool them rapidly. Place the ice packs on the skin rather than putting it over clothing. I would recommend putting a small instant ice pack in your BOB.
Also, if the person is still able to swallow, I would recommend 500 to 1,000 mg of Tylenol (acetaminophen) to help bring the fever down, since it is the fever that will kill them. If you are so dehydrated you cannot sweat (sweating is the main way your body cools itself), then your temperature rises because you have no way of regulating it.
Then you just hang tight for at least 24 hours to make sure the person is fully rehydrated. A good way to measure this is if the person is making almost clear urine. Clear urine is a good sign they are fully rehydrated. But 24 hours of rest is good for the body to recover. Try not to move on if the person has not had rest unless you are in immediate danger.
Another good idea to combat heat related illness is to travel only at night. It usually is cooler and you donâ€™t have the sun making you even hotter. May be harder to see the zombies tho!
Moral of the Story: STAY HYDRATED