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Influence of hydration volume and ambient temperature on physiological responses while wearing CBRN protective clothing

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This study examined a low (L; 5 ml/kg per h) and high (H, 10 ml/kg per h) rate of fluid replacement in moderate (18°C) and hot (30°C) conditions on physiological responses while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE included the gas-tight suit (GTS), the powered respirator protective suit (PRPS) and the civil responder 1 (CR1). Relative to the moderate condition, physiological responses were greater in the hot condition. The percentage change in body mass was different (p < 0.05) between L and H in the hot (L vs. H, GTS: -0.83 vs. -0.38%; PRPS: -1.18 vs. -0.71%; CR1: -1.62 vs. -0.57%) and moderate conditions, although in GTS and CR1 body mass increased (L vs. H, GTS: -0.48 vs. 0.06%; PRPS: -0.66 vs. -0.11%; CR1: -0.18 vs. 0.67%). Fluid replacement strategies for PPE should be adjusted for environmental conditions in order to avoid >1% body mass loss and/or net body mass gain. Statement of Relevance:Currently, the UK Emergency Services do not have specific evidence-based fluid replacement guidelines to follow when wearing chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear (CBRN) PPE. Although ad libitum fluid replacement is encouraged (when breathing apparatus permits), recommendations from evidence-based findings specific to different PPE and to different environmental conditions are lacking. This study provides novel evidence supporting the need to develop fluid replacement strategies during CBRN deployments in both moderate and hot environmental conditions for CBRN PPE.
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Keywords: ambient temperature; fluid replacement; protective clothing; rectal temperature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Optimal Performance Limited, Clifton, Bristol, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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