Common Heat Casualties for desert climate survival



Summary: In order to survive in the scorching desert climate, the first and foremost is to understand and get adequately prepared with the knowledge and understanding of the arid environment. Taking care of the basic survival needs will help you to cope up with the basic elements and also avoid the severe heat casualties.

Scorched terrains or arid areas are prone to many dangerous heat casualties. However, by gaining a complete know-how of the survival techniques in desert, the dangers that you might have to face while at the desert, you can avoid many of them from occurring.

What are the basic types of heat illnesses?

1. Heat cramps:

Hot Weather can cause excessive sweating due to lack of salt presence in the body. In order to function properly your body muscles need electrolytes like sodium and chlorine which are present in salt. Heat cramps are often like the regular cramps that occur in the legs, arms or stomach muscles. They are often painful and cause extreme discomfort.

Heat exhaustion is another casualty that is caused by loss of water and salt. It is the further stage of Heat Cramps. Individuals who suffer from this may experience:

  • Headache
  • Irritable Behavior
  • Excessive sweating
  • Body Weakness
  • Skin tone of the body Becoming pale
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Clammy or cold skin
  • Faintness or fits

Heat stroke is the third major casualty that is caused by the failure of a body’s heat regulating system completely. In this situation the body temperature increases rapidly and there is no perspiration that occurs. The patient might notice the symptoms:

  • Excessive headache
  • Dizzy Feeling
  • Vomiting, Nausea and Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms or cramps or twitches
  • Aggression and Confused behavior
  • Increased body temperature with skin turning hot and red
  • High heart rate
  • Hallucination and intoxication feeling
  • Unconsciousness

Treat all the above situations with almost similar line of instant treatment. Firstly, find a shady place to lie down or at least sit with feet elevated. Loosen the clothing of the patient allow people to hand fan in order to get more air. If there is insufficient water, then you may soak a towel or a bandanna and place it on to the skin. If available, pour water on to the skin and pour as much water as you can. This is essential as the patient could even die from heat stroke and it is not the right time to save water. If there is an availability of some cool bandages or icepacks in the first-aid kit then you may place them on to the groin area and the armpits. These are the two areas that instantly help to lower the overall body temperature. Drink water that is mixed with some salt. You may also wish to savor sports beverages as they have relatively high amount of salt when compared to the others.