Urge to defecate.
Rapid breathing (short of breath).
Tingling in the hands or feet.
(9) Normal vital signs with an oral temperature that may be either slightly
elevated or slightly below normal.
The basic cause of heat exhaustion is hypovolemia--an abnormal decrease in the
volume of circulation fluid (plasma) in the blood system. The condition can be corrected
by having the casualty drink water and by taking precautions to keep his condition from
a. Protect Casualty from Sun. Move the casualty to a shaded area or
construct shade for the casualty.
b. Loosen Clothing. Loosen any tight-fitting clothing on the casualty if you are
not in a chemically-contaminated environment.
c. Cool Casualty. If the day is very hot, pour water on the casualty and fan
him. This will help the casualty's body to lose heat.
d. Give Salt and Water. Have the casualty drink at least one quart (one
canteen) of the salt solution described in paragraph 4-19d. If salt is not readily
available, have the casualty drink at least one quart of cool water.
e. Elevate Legs. Have the casualty lie down on his back and place a pack,
small log, rolled up field jacket, or other stable prop under his feet. If a litter is available,
have the casualty lie on the litter and elevate the foot of the litter. This procedure will
help blood return from the casualty's legs to his heart and will help prevent shock.
f. Evacuate, if Needed. If the casualty is unable to drink water because of
nausea or if the casualty's signs and symptoms do not improve after he begins drinking
fluids, initiate intravenous infusion (Ringer's lactate or normal saline solution) and
evacuate the casualty to a medical facility. (NOTE: Only trained personnel should
attempt to initiate an IV.) If you have a Field Medical Card available, record information
about the casualty's problem and his treatment on the form. Attach the form to the