While summer months offer plenty of enjoyment, they also present unique medical challenges. If you're yet to benefit from first aid training, it's worth understanding how it can help you enjoy your summer safely.
Between 2000 and 2009, around 532 people per 100,000 died due to heatwave-related causes. Those who are particularly at risk are the elderly and very young, especially when they don't benefit from adequate sun protection. Early signs of heat stroke include sweating profusely, headaches, nausea, a rapid pulse and a rising body temperature. When it becomes serious, sufferers display signs of hypovolaemic shock. Such signs include being pale, fainting and low blood pressure.
When a young child's temperature rises above 39 degrees Celsius, it becomes dangerous. Additionally, any individual with suspected heat stroke and a temperature above 40 degrees Celsius is in a high-risk situation. Companies such as Hltaid 003 provide first aid training on such matters. Your immediate response should involve removing their outer clothing, moving them to a cool place and wrapping them in a cold and damp towel. Sponge them with cool water until their temperature falls below 38 degrees. Additionally, call for an ambulance so they can receive rapid medical care.
Cardiac arrest response
Depending on a patient's underlying heart pathologies, they're more likely to experience a cardiac arrest in the summer. Extremes of heat exert strains on the heart, making an arrest more likely.
Those who receive first aid training will benefit from instructions on a top-to-toe survey that allows them to recognise a cardiac arrest. If you suspect someone is suffering from one, prioritise calling an ambulance. The sooner they reach a defibrillator, the higher their chances of survival. After calling for help, use a combination of 30 rapid chest compressions to two rescue breaths. Said breaths should take place while tilting their head backwards, and you shouldn't delay the following compressions if you suspect you didn't breathe efficiently. Try to alternate your efforts with another person every two minutes to maintain efficacy.
For those who suffer from an insect sting allergy, the summer can become hellish. Signs of anaphylaxis include a widespread hive-like rash, pale and clammy skin, swelling lips and a swelling throat. If you suspect someone is having a severe allergic reaction, call for an ambulance immediately. Depending on the information you give to them, they may instruct you to look for and administer an epinephrine pen. Otherwise, raise the person's legs and reassure them that help is on the way.
You may want to consider taking a first aid course. With every new skill you gain, you have the chance to help others enjoy a safer summer.