Singapore

SAF enhances its heat injury management and prevention measures

A five-member panel was convened in May 2018 to review the existing strategy for heat injury prevention and management in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) after the death of 19-year-old full-time national serviceman Dave Lee Han Xuan.

He died of heatstroke in April 2018 and was promoted to corporal first class posthumously.

Since August 2018, the SAF has expanded the use of purpose-built cooling pads and an arm immersion cooling system to tackle heat injury.

Arm immersion is a preventive measure where soldiers dip their arms into iced water between 15 seconds and 30 seconds to help cool their core body temperature. It is done during rest periods in training and after training.

Purpose-built cooling pads, which can be stuck onto the body, also help to cool a person with a suspected heat injury.

In September last year, the Ministry of Defence said the SAF had introduced enhancements to its heat injury management and prevention measures. These include implementing a simplified evacuation protocol; improving heat injury awareness for commanders and medics; enhancing existing cooling and heat injury prevention measures; and strengthening an open reporting culture.

Other measures taken in the wake of CFC Lee's death include rolling out a new training safety regulation for all commanders and medics to evacuate every trainee who cannot respond to simple questions on time, place and identity. - THE STRAITS TIMES

MEDICAL & HEALTH