Mass Gatherings, Field Care, And Prehospital Care For Heat Illness

<< Heat Illness In The Emergency Department: Keeping Your Cool

Mass Gatherings, Field Care, And Prehospital Care

Heat illness considerations play an important part in planning and managing mass-gathering events. Large retrospective studies of general population cohorts and of mass-gathering cohorts demonstrate that, as ambient temperature rises, the incidence of heat illness increases proportionately. A variety of prediction tools exist, including the heat index and the more comprehensive WBGT (which takes into account wind velocity and radiant heat).40,42 The WBGT is used extensively in the United States military, but there are no guidelines as to when to cancel an event. The medical director should consider recommending cancellation or modification of a mass event if the expected heat will be too high or if the resources to prevent heat illness appear insufficient.42 This section will discuss the measurement of patient core temperature in the field as well as field and prehospital treatment.

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