Seasonal safety: Summer Research/studies Heat stress Military

Soldiers at high risk of heat injury during non-combat operations: study

Military men

Department of Defense

Fort Lauderdale, FL – More than 9 out of 10 heat-related injuries among military service members stem from non-combat operations, according to researchers from the Department of Defense Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute.

A recent study presented at the 2015 Military Health System Research Symposium (Aug. 17-20) analyzed soldiers’ core temperatures during activities such as ditch digging, marksmanship drills, running, rolling, jumping and setting up razor wires. The soldiers’ core temperatures surpassed 101.5° F, which is a considered a threshold for possible heat injuries.

Researchers cited data showing that 2,887 heat injuries and 311 heat stroke cases occurred among military service members from 2006 to 2010. Technology that includes real-time alerts about increased core temperatures could lead to a reduction in heat injuries, they stated.

“So the question that we are trying to answer is, ‘Can we reduce those numbers?’” DoD research scientist Srinivas Laxminarayan said in a press release. “If we can predict the body’s core temperature, which is the leading indicator of an impending heat injury, we can potentially avoid the problem.”