First Aid

First Aid for Sever Dehydration

Severe dehydration is a common and deadly condition that can be difficult to treat.

Dehydration occurs when a human body loses so much water, it begin interfering with normal body functions. It becomes severe when it reaches a point where a person’s life is in danger.

Severe dehydration causes hallucination, dementia, unconsciousness, and eventually death. It can cause permanent damage tot he brain and other organs in a matter of hours, so treating it as quickly as possible is crucial.

The human body is about 2/3 water under normal conditions, so it’s obvious that water is an important factor in our moment to moment existence. If you encounter someone who is severely dehydrated, your action may be the difference between life and death. Here are some steps to take should this occur.

1. Call for help

First call for an ambulance, then for anyone nearby who might be able to help you. If you can, provide the name and any relevant medical information to the emergency operator you talk to. If a person is severly dehydrated, he or she may need an IV injection and other medical services only professionals can provide.

2. De-dehydrate

Lack of water is the cause of dehydration, so providing it is naturally the primary function of reversing severe dehydration. If the person is conscious, have him or her sip water in small but steady amounts. If the person is not conscious, you should avoid putting water in their mouths because this can cause choking. In a real pinch, it may be appropriate to squeeze a few drops into the mouth slowly, from a towel or shirt.

3. Cool the person down

A lot of the moisture we lose is from sweat. If you can cool the person down, he or she will sweat less. There’s also a high probability that the person is hyperthermic, in which case this is doubly important. Get ther person inside or at least to some shade. If you have a lot of water, pour it over the body to cool it down. Remove excess clothing. If your water supply is limited, moisten some towels or shirts and use them to pat the body with moisture.

4. Restore Electrolytes

Once the person is conciousness, you can start giving him or her beverages with electrolytes in them. Electrolytes help with basic body functions, regular temperature, and are essential for sweating. Sports drinks lick PowerAde contain plenty of electrolytes. If one of these isn’t available, a teaspoon of salt and sugar in a bottle of water will do in a pinch.

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