View Full Version : How the weather can effect you unless prepared

07-12-2012, 08:35 AM
I got knocked down yesterday due to not keeping myself hydrated enough, so i though I would post a thread on the effects that the weather conditions can have on you.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat stroke is the most severe of all heat illnesses and occurs when the body's temperature rises above 104 degrees and sometimes above 106 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the Mayo Clinic, heat stroke can be caused by environmental temperatures, strenuous activities or other conditions that raise your body's temperature.

Dehydration occurs when the body doesn't have enough fluids or water. Heat stroke prevents the body from sweating, which is a sign that dehydration has occurred. As the body's temperature rises the body's fluid levels decrease as it tries to cool the body down.

Neurological Effects

Heat stroke can cause serious neurological side effects. Headaches, confusion, lack of comprehension are the first signs of neurological side effects. As heat stroke worsens, individuals may suffer hallucinations or seizures, may lose consciousness and may slip into a coma.
Severe Effects

Heat stroke is a life threatening illness. If untreated, heat stroke can cause brain damage, organ failure and even death. The severe body temperatures can cook the internal organs, including the brain. The longer a body endures the higher temperatures, the more severe the health conditions become. Eventually, organs will shut down and death becomes imminent.
Other Effects

Common effects of heat stroke are high body temperatures; cramps; weakness; increased pulse or heart rate; skin that's red, hot, or dry and nausea. These common effects present themselves in the beginning stages of heat stroke and can present further damage if detected.

Treating Heat Stroke

The main focus of treating heat stroke is to cool the core temperature to at least 101 degrees F. Common methods of cooling the body are immersion into cold water, evaporating water over the body or wrapping in icepacks. If an individual is suffering from dehydration, then assist him in the consumption of liquids like Gatorade.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/30718-effects-heat-stroke/#ixzz20Q1ktoEb


Frost Nip

Most often observed at the end of the nose, tops of the ears or possibly fingers. The skin goes an unnatural looking "pasty white" color and loses sensation. This is caused by a lack of blood flow to those regions because they are losing so much heat. Frost nip is an early warning sign that if left will lead to frostbite. It can be readily corrected however by putting on extra clothing. The skidoo gloves I used in Antarctica had a large patch of sheepskin on the back to hold against and warm up any frost-nipped parts. The important thing with frost nip is to keep an eye on your companions as it is so easy to miss it on yourself.

Frost nip can actually freeze the surface layers of the skin and lead to symptoms like sun burn with the warmed skin later turning bright red and being sloughed off. There is no permanent damage.

Frost Bite

Left unattended, frost-nip will lead to frost bite. The difference is that in frost bite, the skin actually falls below freezing point and ice crystals form within the live cells of the skin killing them in the process. On rewarming, the skin swells and blisters turning blue-purple to black - this then forms a hardened black carapace. If the damage is not severe, the dead layer is sloughed off revealing new healthy skin that has grown underneath. It is however very painful. This is known as superficial frost bite.

"The temperature was -47F and I was fool enough to take my hands out of my mitts to haul on the ropes to bring the sledges up. I started away with all ten fingers frostbitten. They did not really come back until we were in our tent for our night meal, and within a few hours there were two or three large blisters, up to an inch long on all of them. For many days those blisters hurt frightfully"
- Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World

More serious is when frostbite affects the deeper layers of muscle and bone. This almost always results in permanent tissue damage and may result in amputation of fingers, toes, even feet, hands and parts of the arm or leg. Many polar explorers and mountaineers have lost parts of some fingers or toes because of frostbite.

Cold weather on a modern society has a number of effects, most dramatically on the general population mortality rate. The average mortality on a winter's day is about 15% higher than on a summer's day. Cold weather is directly responsible for deaths through such things as hypothermia, influenza, and pneumonia. It is also an indirect factor in a number of ways such as death and injury from falls, accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, and house fires all of which are partially attributable to cold.


The affected areas need to be re-warmed. Do not try to do this until you are out of the cold. If the warming process is started and the frozen parts are re-exposed to the cold, it can cause further, irreversible damage.

Ideally, re-warming should be done under medical supervision because:

it can be a painful process that requires access to painkillers
the best results are achieved using a whirlpool bath that contains a mild antiseptic

The affected area should be re-warmed slowly by immersing it in warm (but not hot) water. A bath of water at a temperature of 40-41C (104-105.8F) is recommended.

Re-warming should last at least 30 minutes and should only be stopped once the affected body part has a red-purple colour and can be easily moved.

This process can be repeated twice a day until there are clear signs that the affected body part is beginning to heal, such as the growth of new skin and the return of normal skin colour.

As re-warming can often be painful, painkillers may be required. Depending on the extent of the pain, this could be over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or very strong painkillers such as morphine.
After re-warming

After the frostbitten area has been thawed, it should be wrapped very gently in clean bandages, with the fingers and toes separated out. It is very important to keep the skin clean to avoid infection. Too much movement should be avoided, and the limbs should be elevated if possible. Avoid walking on affected parts that have been re-warmed as the tissues will be very delicate.

After re-warming, the skin will be discoloured and blistered. It will eventually scab over. If the frostbite is superficial, new pink skin will form beneath the discoloured skin and scabs. The area usually recovers within six months.

07-12-2012, 09:18 AM
Good stuff. Always a good idea to get a reminder of the basic stuff.

Sent via davey jones from the locker.