During summertime many of your employees will be taking vacation or spending sunny weekends outside enjoying the weather. Making your company’s benefits and services easy for employees to access while they are on vacation increases the value of those benefits to the employees. When your employees have the Continuwell mobile application, they have easy access to your company’s benefits and resources in a single place, including 24/7 access to a trained registered nurse in the event they begin to experience health symptoms.
It is important for employees to remember that even something as routine as mowing the grass or spending the day at the beach can be dangerous when the temperatures start to rise. It is important to be aware of the effect that heat can have on the body. Read this case study on a common summer vacation concern for families and how Continuwell can help.
Case Study: Heat Stroke Scenario
Wendy is on vacation with her family at a beach resort, lots of sun and warm weather. She notices her 12-year-old son is complaining of dizziness, a headache, fatigue, and muscle cramps. He isn’t eating well this evening and says he feels nauseated. He is sweating a lot and seems a little “off” and slower to respond than normal, but still oriented.
Wendy uses the Continuwell app in order to get a nurse to assess his condition, even though she is away from home. The assessment begins with the nurse asking the basic questions, such as when did this start, is he healthy, does he take any medications, and then the most important question of the call, “What was he doing right before these symptoms started?” The mother relays that they had been out at the beach all day and he was swimming and running up and down in the hot sand. He didn’t stop to drink much fluids and certainly didn’t want to rest in the shade. The weather that day was in the high 90’s.
The Continuwell nurse recognizes this child’s symptoms as those of possible heat exhaustion. The nurse then pulls up the doctor-written guidelines for that condition. She rules out the most emergent symptoms of seizures, confusion, shock symptoms, or high fevers. The Continuwell nurse is able to give Wendy home care advice and warning symptoms that she needs to look out for that may require the emergency room. Wendy then hangs up, reassured that her child will be okay.
Watch this quick video from Continuwell Medical Director Ravi Raheja:
How to Protect Yourself in the Heat
The safest thing to do when the heat index is high is to stay indoors in the air conditioning. This is not always possible so there are other precautions you can take, such as:
- Wearing light colored, light weight clothing and a wide brimmed hat to protect your skin.
- Using sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more.
- Drinking extra fluids to prevent dehydration. Water, fruit juice, or sports drinks are preferred.
- Avoiding drinks with caffeine or alcohol when out in the heat, both of these can cause you to lose more fluids leading to dehydration.
Many people do not recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which without proper intervention can progress to heat stroke, leading to damage of the brain or other vital organs and even death. Continuwell nurses are highly trained, utilizing Schmitt-Thompson protocols, to recognize these symptoms. If the symptoms are serious enough to warrant it, the nurse may advise a trip to the emergency room, but in most cases our nurses are able to give home care advice and over-the-counter medication, saving the employee and company money and offering peace of mind. Since Continuwell operates through an app, it offers employees the flexibility to contact nurses from any location, accounting for all summer activities, such as trips to the beach or a theme park.