Risk factors for heat illness among British soldiers in the hot Collective Training Environment.

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Title: Risk factors for heat illness among British soldiers in the hot Collective Training Environment.
Authors: Moore, AC
Stacey, MJ
Bailey, KG
Bunn, RJ
Woods, DR
Haworth, KJ
Brett, SJ
Folkes, SE
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Heat illness is a preventable disorder in military populations. Measures that protect vulnerable individuals and contribute to effective Immediate Treatment may reduce the impact of heat illness, but depend upon adequate understanding and awareness among Commanders and their troops. OBJECTIVE: To assess risk factors for heat illness in British soldiers deployed to the hot Collective Training Environment (CTE) and to explore awareness of Immediate Treatment responses. METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to British soldiers deployed in the hot CTEs of Kenya and Canada. Responses were analysed to determine the prevalence of individual (Intrinsic) and Command-practice (Extrinsic) risk factors for heat illness and the self-reported awareness of key Immediate Treatment priorities (recognition, first aid and casualty evacuation). RESULTS: The prevalence of Intrinsic risk factors was relatively low in comparison with Extrinsic risk factors. The majority of respondents were aware of key Immediate Treatment responses. The most frequently reported factors in each domain were increased risk by body composition scoring, inadequate time for heat acclimatisation and insufficient briefing about casualty evacuation. CONCLUSIONS: Novel data on the distribution and scale of risk factors for heat illness are presented. A collective approach to risk reduction by the accumulation of 'marginal gains' is proposed for the UK military. This should focus on limiting Intrinsic risk factors before deployment, reducing Extrinsic factors during training and promoting timely Immediate Treatment responses within the hot CTE.
Issue Date: 2-Jun-2015
Date of Acceptance: 16-Apr-2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/23589
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jramc-2015-000427
ISSN: 0035-8665
Publisher: Royal Army Med Corps
Start Page: 434
End Page: 439
Journal / Book Title: Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Volume: 162
Copyright Statement: © 2015, British Medical Journal Publishing Group. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Faculty of Medicine

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