31 Jul Falling Workers: Another Root Cause?
You may have seen last week when the tower worker was rescued from 260′ in the air due to a heat related illness, or heat exhaustion as the new reports indicated. I offer another point of view and I would put $20 on the fact the climber was dehydrated!
Summer & Heat Dehydration
Dehydration in the summer is caused primarily through perspiration, which throws the electrolyte balance in the blood plasma off very quickly. This results in nausea, cramps, weakness, postural hypotension etc. A summer climber needs fluid with electrolytes such as a diluted 50% Gatorade mixture to drink at 10 minute intervals. The only disadvantage to 50% diluted Gatorade is the stomach “sees” the nutrients in the solution and immediately passes the fluid on to the small intestine where the absorbtion rate is only 1/3 as fast as if the fluid stayed in the stomach. With pure water the fluid stays in the stomach and is more quickly passed to the blood stream. Once in the blood stream the rehydration progresses next to the cells and finally to the interstitial spaces. The point of mentioning that is that even though a climber feels better after rehydrating from serious dehydration he should wait at least 12 hours to resume any significant work.