Effects of lifeboat interior environments on human cooling responses

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.4224/21263081
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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleTechnical Report
Physical description32 p.
SubjectLifeboat; hyperthermia; heat; sweating
AbstractThe effects of interior conventional lifeboat temperatures on the thermoregulatory responses of participants wearing immersion suits were investigated. Two different environmental conditions were investigated: the interior air temperature and relative humidity levels found in a conventional lifeboat that relies on passive ventilation (“Conventional”); and those proposed to be in a next generation lifeboat that will have an active ventilation system (“Next-Generation”). Participants performed three hour tests in both the Conventional and Next-Generation condition. The Conventional condition produced a significantly greater increase (P < 0.05) in the rate of sweat production, rate mean skin temperature increase and gastro-intestinal increase, heart rate, and physiological strain index values compared to the Next-Generation condition. The Conventional condition caused an amount of sweat accumulation sufficient to dampen the underclothing to a level that would cause a significant reduction in predicted survival time. Heart rate, gastro-intestinal temperature and physiological strain index values continued to trend upwards during the Conventional condition suggesting that the level of thermal stress was uncompensable by the thermoregulatory systems of the participants which is supported by the air temperature and relative humidity levels being at a critical environmental limit in which heat balance cannot be achieved. It is concluded that the interior environmental conditions of conventional lifeboats will result in a level of thermal stress that cannot be compensated for by people wearing immersion suits which will result in increasing levels of physiological strain.
Publication date
PublisherNational Research Council Canada
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationOcean, Coastal and River Engineering; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number21263081
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Record identifier1e8af7a4-8d2e-4735-b949-7c595d2e1a24
Record created2013-03-15
Record modified2016-10-03
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