LOST IN THE DESERT

Topics: Water, Temperature, Hypertension Pages: 3 (1295 words) Published: November 18, 2014


LOST IN THE DESERT!

By David Evans
Natural Sciences
Penn College/PSU
Williamsport, PA

Part I: July 13th, AM

Mark, a white, 35-year-old male weighing approximately 70 kilogram (kg) started a three-hour drive across the desert on US 95 from Yuma, Arizona, to Blythe, California. He set out at 7 AM on what was expected to be a very hot July day. He anticipated that it would take him about three hours to reach Blythe—plenty of time to make his 11 AM appointment with Sarah, his fiancée. When he failed to appear by noon, Sarah became concerned and called the highway patrol. By 12:30 PM, Search and Rescue Officer Maria Arroyo, who was patrolling nearby, reported finding an abandoned car on the side of the road with a damaged radiator that matched Sarah’s description of Mark’s vehicle. Maria noticed shoe prints leading into the desert toward some low mountains in the distance. At that point Maria called for helicopter assistance, consulted her GPS, and relayed the exact coordinates to base. By 1 PM Henry Morningstar, paramedic and a member of the helicopter crew, reported a shirtless, hatless man wandering down a desert wash. The local radio station reported at about the same time that the air temperature was hovering at 105° F in the shade (and there was darned little of that). The relative humidity was less than 5%. The helicopter crewmembers spotted a man staggering on the desert. They realized they had found Mark. His driver’s license identified him as the missing man. Mark was still conscious but clearly delirious. Henry also noted that Mark was weak, nauseous, disoriented, and complained of a headache. His blood pressure was quite low—70/50—and he was not sweating despite the oppressive heat. His body temperature was also high—105°. The patient was diagnosed as having heat stroke. The paramedic also noted first degree burns on his face and back. Suddenly, Susan Liu, the pilot, reported that they had lost radio contact with the hospital. It was...
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