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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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101 Critical Days of Summer - Week 4: Heat Injury Safety

By Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Necoechea | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | June 16, 2016

Week Four of the 101 Critical Days of Summer series of base safety briefs focuses on Heat Injury Safety.

In the weekly newsletter, base safety officials reminded service members and their families about the importance of preventing and protecting against heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke.

According to the base safety newsletter, a total of heat injury related 7,415 deaths were reported in the United States from 1999 to 2010, averaging 618 per year.

The safety newsletter outlined the symptoms for the different types of heat injuries.

“Heat Injuries can be very serious and life threatening,” Mark Hall, tactical safety supervisor, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “Time is critical in the treatment of heat injuries, therefore determining the type of heat illness, and administering the proper First Aid is critical.”

Heat strokes involve confusion, fainting, seizures, excessive sweating or red, hot, dry skin and a very high body temperature. Heat exhaustion involves cool, moist skin, heavy sweating, headaches, nausea, vomiting, thirst, irritability and a rapid heartbeat.

Hall said that throughout the summer months, service members and their families should be aware of these symptoms.

“Continuous training is important so that service members know what to look for in identifying the symptoms of heat illnesses and the associated treatment for each,” said Hall. “However, the goal is to be proactive. Leadership is crucial and leaders must know their Marines’ capabilities, and limitations. They need to know if any of their service members have had prior heat illnesses, which could make them more susceptible to future heat illnesses.”

The newsletter advises service members and their families to wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), hydrate regularly during activities, drink water whether they are thirsty or not, to wear lightweight clothing and limit alcohol intake.

Officials added that in the event of a heat casualty bystanders should dial 911, move the patient to a cool/ shaded area, remove as many clothes as possible, provide cool air and encourage the patient to drink cool water.

“A Marine out of the fight reduces the unit’s efficiency, which means somebody else has to bridge that gap,” said Hall. ““Every Marine is crucial to the accomplishment of the mission.”

For more information visit the link to Base Safety at: http://www.pendleton.marines.mil/StaffAgencies/SafetyCenter.aspx