Quick cooling method could save lives

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What would you do if you were out on the trail and saw a runner who was suddenly overcome by the heat?

“Severe hyperthermia, the dangers include seizure, brain damage, and even potentially death,” Dr. Chris Sampson, an emergency management physician at the University of Missouri Health Care, said.

Heatstroke can happen while running, camping, or at any outdoor event.

Luckily, a tarp and water are all you need to cool them down.

It’s called the TACO method and it stands for Tarp Assisted Cooling with Oscillation.

“The TACO method is very important for people you may encounter that are confused unresponsive or have passed out from the heat and will not wake up,” Dr. Sampson said. “These people often need rapid cooling in order to help save their lives.”

If someone is unresponsive, get them onto a tarp, pour water and ice on top of them, then keep the tarp moving.

“Most of your heat dissipation occurs on the surface of your skin, and by oscillating or moving the tarp back and forth and having that cold water get in contact with all portions of their body, you’re able to get the heat off them in a more rapid fashion,” Dr. Sampson said.

Think of this as a temporary cooling method, you still want to call 911.

But taking action before the ambulance arrives could make a life-saving difference.

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