First Battle in the Heat: Physiological Logistics for Success
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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There are two major physiologic requirements for optimum performance of troops during their initial actions in a hot theater of operation previous heat acclimatization and previous planning for delivery and ingestion of adequate water. Heat acclimatization requires about 7 days, with about 2 hours each day spent doing moderately hard to heavy work under conditions at least as hot as those anticipated lower levels of exertion andor heat stress produce only partial acclimatization. Adequate replacement of body water, lost as sweat is also essential to prevent early physical andor heat exhaustion of the troops. The USARIEM heat casualty prediction model HEATCAS, developed to predict the physiological responses and their operational impact for acclimatized, well hydrated troops, has now been expanded to include the responses of unacclimatized troops, their improvements with acclimatization, the estimated drinking water requirements and the effects of failure to provide the required water. The model provides tabulated and graphical predictions of the benefits of heat acclimatization and the costs of dehydration on operations under any specified combination of climate and terrain. Some previous military operations, where inadequate initial acclimatization or water intake produced operational problems are compared with the USARIEM model predictions.
- Stress Physiology