Author Topic: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire  (Read 48960 times)

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Offline Adriana Rose

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2009, 06:20:13 PM »
Still be smart!
Avoid too much alcohol and soda.
In the heat of the day try to sit at a show and cool off.
Eat! something in your tummy makes things kinda better
Keep a fan on you or a small spray bottle and mist your self every now and then!

Lots of water! I have also found that if you try to eat a decent meal before you head to faire your body is all nice and happy!

Offline Morgan Dreadlocke

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2009, 04:33:38 PM »
Been there a few times.

Keep an eye on the people around you. Bumbling of words, lack of coordination in the extremeties and loss of peripherial vision are all solid clues. Depending on how far into the red they
(or you) are it might take several days to feel better.
My intentions are to commandeer a venue, sail to Tortuga, then pick, strum and otherwise play me weasily black guts out.


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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2009, 05:39:44 PM »
This is an important subject to me personally. On our opening day at PaRF in 2005, I had severe heat stroke and had a minor heart attack on my way home (luckily, I had already pulled off the road and called for someone to pick me up by then...I wouldn't have made it otherwise). A heart attach and heart condition from it at 23 will teach you your lesson realy quick, I'll tell you that much.  I've done my research and tried all the tips of the trade since then because after that one incident, I'm much more likely to get in trouble that much quicker next time (and it has come close, especially this past season). Know your body, know your limits, and know when to ask for help. Like its been said, if you see anyone else incoherent or off-balance, just offering them some water could help.

About the salt and electrolyte issue....its not so much the salt you ned, its the minerals in it. One of the causes for my heart attack was a lack of sodium and potassium (things that those pickles and bananas and whatnot are high in). I was drinking like a fish all that day (I thought) but I hadn't stopped to eat more than a few french fries or something like that and had essentially washed all the electrolytes and minerals out of my system at the same time I was getting dehydrated. Your heart is triggered to pump by something called the Na/K Pump (Sodium /Potassium Pump), a ratio of those two minerals in your system. That ratio gets off, too low or too high, and things go wonky. Or stop. Beware though of cooling off too quickly if you get in trouble. Like someone said, going from 100+ degrees to 40 can put your body into shock and again, make things go wonky.

I'm a big fan of Emergen-C packets myself - they're a great little energy kick during the day. Others in our cast also swear by some other little packets called Squelchers. They aren't a way to avoid drinking and getting cool, but they help keep the electrolytes up.

 K,I'm off my soap box now.   :-X

Offline Woodland Artisan

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2009, 08:55:00 PM »
Like its been said, if you see anyone else incoherent or off-balance, just offering them some water could help.

Also, get them in the shade, sitting down (or laying down if they'll let you do that), fanning, ice packs in strategic places, etc.  If that doesn't seem to help them within just a minute or two or they start to feel or appear worse, your next call is to the nearest health professional.  In fact, do that last thing anyway.  That's what they are there for.

If that person has progressed beyond the simple seemingly incoherent or slightly off-balance stage .. meaning that they are either fumbling/slurring their words, can't stand, aren't sweating at all or very little, pale, unfocusing eyes (and so on ... lots of possible signs) then you YELL for medics and start stripping the person.  I know, this is a very touchy (not like that kids!) subject and situation.  But, if someone is clearly in the stages of "Heat Stroke" (as opposed to just "Heat Exhaustion") then the primary response is to cool the body off as quickly as possible by stripping everything off and packing ice under the armpits and in the groin area and/or dumping cold water over those areas along with lots of fanning to give good evaporative cooling.  Don't try to give Heat Stroke victims anything to drink. It's too late for that and they probably won't be able to take it anyway.  Yes, there is a risk of shock.  That can be dealt with separately and, hopefully, at an event/faire there will be health professionals to take over at that point at the latest.  If not, respond to the shock risk as well ... but get that body temperature down fast!

This is a life/death situation and you have a very limited time to act.  If the person gets pissed that you're starting to strip them, then you've misread the signs of Heat STROKE.  If they are really in the Heat Stroke stages, they'll rarely be able to speak or fight you.  If they do get pissed, politely appologize and suggest to that person that they voluntarily start shedding some clothes discreetly.

In my career as an Athletic Trainer I dealt with a lot of Heat Strokes and far too many Heat Exhaustions.  Scary stuff and, when it truely is a Heat Stroke situaion, modesty be damned.

Stay safe ...

Offline MonkeysMurklins

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #34 on: July 06, 2009, 04:04:15 PM »
Ice is not usually the best thing to use when someone has heat stroke. The temperature difference can cause the person's blood veins to contract, making it harder to cool off and actually worsening the situation. Getting them in the shade and splashing cool water over them is a better option. Fanning is good too. If you're able to get the person to drink, a mixture of salt and water is better than water alone for any dehydration related disorder. Watered down Gatorade or juice is a good choice. If the person actually has heat stroke, though, anything you do is just temporary until the health professionals can take over. It's not something you should self-treat.

Offline Khaalis

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2009, 02:16:07 AM »
At Sterling, the faire staff and many of the long term patrons order a special "Half-n-Half" not normally offered, which consists of 1/2 iced Tea and 1/2 Lemonade. Everyone swears by it for helping prevent heat stroke issues.
Rogue, Merc and certified RenRat

Offline Emerald Shaunassey

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2009, 03:03:21 AM »
Speaking as an RN and one who has had a full blown heat stroke in Nobles garb in 100+ heat doing the KCRF Death March (aka Parade) - let me just say that there have been some very good ideas put forth here.  When someone is in full blown heat stroke and there isn't an RN or EMT on hand just then, you do ANYTHING you have to save that person's life.  Yes, you can have a heart attack no matter your age or weight or health level for you are messing with that lovely K+/N+ pump that moves all the muscles in your body (btw, potatoes with the skins on are a much better source of Potassium (K+) than even bananas).  Yes, do strip the person and get those layers off!  In the heat of the moment, it is not a sexual come-on or anything lecherous - it is saving someone's bacon.  Ice does help - those giving the assist, wrap the ice in a single layer of cloth (your handkerchief works well) and it cuts down on the shock.  Assign one or two persons to be the faners, send 2 people to get EMS and have 2 people icing/watering/stripping the victim.  Remember - to many helpers cuts off any chance of a breeze reaching the victim; keep your help staff to a minimum for air movement.  Yes it is imperative to start First Aid asasp but, don't go so hog wild that you wear yourself out in the first 2 minutes - it's going to take a while to locate EMS and get a Rig.. er.. Ambulance to your location.  It is up to you, once you start, to keep going to help your fellow human.  Take it slow and steady. 

Yes, shade is nice but sometimes the victim just doesn't drop in the shade where it helps him/her and you!  Parasols are wonderful things but again, be ware of to many folks gathered about.  Another trick I've seen used before is a ladies over skirt stretched over top of the victim which in turn was used to create a gentle breeze over the victim (ala Cleopatra's fan boys).  If I hadn't seen it, I don't think I would have believed it myself. 

Rescuers - do not be afraid to "tag out" with your partner - the last thing your fellow rescuers need is for you to become a victim. 

Onto preventative measures: Yes pickle juice, pickles, crackers, chips, other salty foods are good ... in SMALL portions and amounts.  To much of a good thing is DEFINITELY a bad thing.  Salt/salty foods hold onto fluid but to much salt/salty food can cause that fluid to move out of the cells and into the general tissues; something called Edema and is not good.  Straight Gatorade all day long is not good for you - again and over abundance of electrolytes.  A 50/50 solution with water is good but again, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  A word of warning about water - you can throw yourself into "Water Toxicity" where in you drank waaaaaay to much water and flushed dang near every electrolyte from your body.  This will affect mental acuity, speech, movement, and affects your heart (you could either develop a slow or bradycardic rate or a super fast or tachycardic rate).  Do take things slow and easy (I know not all faire owners and managers seem to understand this) but, you have a choice - your health/life vs. what the bossman/woman wants.  If you take yourself out by inducing bad health; you cannot come back to do the job you love.  Pace yourselves, drink constantly, avoid alcohol and caffiene, avoid sweet drinks (like pop which has sodium in it and leaves a sticky residue on your skin after sweat dries ...hmm... stinging insects love this!).  Don't over do it on the good stuff like Gatorade, sit in the shade and hold your own "court" with passing patrons - they will probably need a shady break just like you do.  If your faire persona's station allows - have a good ole water fight - ensuring that only those wanting to get soaked are soaked (nothing like drowning a passing patron or your area manager!)  Ice down the bodice, next to the breastbone helps as does ice down the back along the spine.  Gents... you can put ice in your cod pieces to help cool you off - it may not sound so great to you guys but, your body will love you for it as tights do not allow your body to release the built up heat it normally would.  Be espeically careful if your tights have ANY spandex or Lycra in them - they are both dread polyesters.  Gents, you too can put ice down your doublets both chest and back to help cool you off. 

As someone else stated, see your doctor before donning all those layers of clothes (espeically if this is your fist time in nobles!); talk with him/her about how much you will be wearing and how many hours you will be wearing all those clothes.  Ask him/her if there is anything they recommend you do months, weeks, days, and hours before donning your garb.  Eat well rounded (all food group) meals prior to and during the faire day - you don't have to lug in a Henrican basket of food to eat on all day - cheese cubes, fresh fruits (grapes, apples, grapefruit, oranges, bandannas, kiwis, cherries, etc), cold summer sausage slices or jerky, crackers or rolls, and yes, you could even have individual bottles of milk stashed in your ice chest along with your food.  You've a complete meal that can be grazed upon all day long to keep your blood sugar up (even if you aren't diabetic or hypoglycemic) and keep your energy level stable. 

Most importantly, you know your body better than any other person - listen to it's message and heed any warnings it gives you.  Seek out assistance if you cannot handle any problems on your own.  Do not be to "macho" or "shy" to ask for help - we are all here to help each other.  Take care of yourselves as the summer rolls on - for us here in the lower mid-south - our dog days of summer are about to kick off; along with two faires - one this month and one next month. 

Faire Fun and Health to you all ...

[stepping down from the soapbox and removing the uniform]

IWG #979, IFRP #569, RMG # 614, Bard # 171.
Creator, Owner, & Manager of Williams Entertainment: Home of The Ladies of the Salty Kiss, The Shanty Lasses, Native Souls, & Grand Lake Renaissance Festival.

Offline RenaissanceBarbie

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2009, 12:35:26 PM »
Good information, thanks!  It's good to remember also that it takes four hours for the body to process water taken in.  If you're thirsty it's too late.  I recommend drinking A LOT of water before you go to sleep before faire to give your body the time it needs to get ready.  As a singer in the dusty, dusty streets of CO I try to wake up in the middle of the night before a faire day and drink a water bottle, which may be excessive if you're not singing but is still great.  You'll really have to pee in the morning but it works well.  :D  Protein intake and enough sleep all help too.  When you're body has what it needs in other areas besides just water intake it can better prepare itself for the nasty heat.

Stay "cool" everyone and enjoy your respective faires!   :D
Taken out of context I must seem so strange.

Offline Whistler Fred

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2009, 03:55:52 PM »
In addition to water and Gatorade, I have found that V8 juice can really pick me up when I'm feeling woozy on a hot day.  Probably the combination of sodium and vitamins.

This was touched on earlier, but a good bowl of soup can also help replenish you on a hot day.  It sounds counter-intuitive, but a hot soup is easy to digest and gets those nutrients into your body quickly.

Great post!
Whistler Fred (Lauritzen)

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Offline Celtic_Fae

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2009, 01:39:47 PM »
Pickles, while good for the preventative measures already mentioned, are also good if you happen to get sunburned. Just apply thin slices of pickles for about 15 minutes and repeating every few hours as necessary.

Offline Carl Heinz

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2009, 06:12:08 PM »
Water and sun screen.  No alcohol or soft drinks.  Drink LOTS of water.  Cuthberts rule of thumb--if you haven't pee'd by noon, you're not drinking enough.

Wet your sleeves.

Ice can cause shock if someone has gone down.

If someone is going down, most events have EMT's on hand.  Grab Security and get them involved.

The former guildmaster of St Michaels at RPFS carried a bottle of small tablets called Bioplasma.  I think the manufacturer is Hyland.  These are salts.  We also use pickles and olives and have Gatorade in the back area.

The guilds in parades at RPFS carry water with them.  Water should also be available at most ale stands.

Been doing this for about 30 years and haven't dropped yet.
Carl Heinz
Guild of St Cuthbert

Offline L Joy Arroyo

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2009, 09:58:17 PM »
Personally, I've found that avoiding milk products is a good thing...tends to curdle in the stomach.  May not cause heat stroke directly, but the vomiting certainly dehydrates a person.  Also, it makes you feel more full, and therefore less likely to drink water.

Cheers and stay safe!
L Joy Arroyo

Offline DragonWing

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2009, 09:58:06 AM »
Wow, this has been a very informative thread.  It is supposedly going to be in the High 80' and Mid 90's for PARF opening weekend starting tomorrow. And of coarse I am going on Sunday which will be in the 90's.

Thank you all for sharing this wonderful information. My partner and I will heed it well.
Dragon rider and mage,
(aka Vince)

Offline Carl Heinz

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2009, 10:09:09 AM »
It is supposedly going to be in the High 80' and Mid 90's for PARF opening weekend starting tomorrow.
One day while we were getting ready to leave when RPFS was still at Devore, we were at the van and I was taking off my doublet.  Herself says something like "You know you have steam coming off your back?".  The heat sensor in the van said 113.  Drink your water!!  Dampen your arms!!  Drink your water!! Avoid alcohol and soft drinks.  :)
Carl Heinz
Guild of St Cuthbert

Offline Lady_Lily

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Re: Avoiding heat Stroke at Faire
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2009, 02:03:10 PM »
This is definitely a topic I know a bit about! I was in a summer activity and passing out/heat exhaustion was definitely a huge concern.

A lot of people have mentioned some excellent things.
*hydrate during the week-make sure you're drinking plenty of water. Hydration today comes from being hydrated yesterday
*Ice on the wrists- a friend told me about this. Her father was an EMT and said that the wrists, arm pits, feet, and head are the best contact points for cooling someone down. If you're starting to feel warm, take a break in the shade, grab some ice (the pickle guys have always been awesome about giving it away!) and put some on your feet, ankles, wrists, head to help cool down. Doing this periodically will definitely help keep you cool!
*Gatorade- definitely an excellent way to stay hydrated, once again, I had medical staff recommend the 50/50 water/gatorade as being more effective because it reduces the sugar content and the water helps to hydrate you, which is why the gatorade powders have been more recommended than the bottles. Emergen-C is another excellent additive.
*If someone does pass out- ice under the arm pits, cooling them down with ice water, removing shoes, hats, ice on the ankles, wrists, and once they start to come around, reduce the amount of cold as it's easy to go too far and sending them toward hypothermia. 50/50 water gatorade and EMT's and medical professionals are a must!

Take it easy all!! Make sure to relax and rest and keep cool!!!


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