Walker, A., Keene, T., Argus, C., Driller, M., Guy, J. H & Rattay, B. (2015). Immune and inflammatory responses of Australian firefighters after repeated exposures to the heat. Ergonomics,58(12), 2032-2039. United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis Ltd.. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2015.1051596
When firefighters work in hot conditions, altered immune and inflammatory responses may increase the risk of a cardiac event. The present study aimed to establish the time course of such responses. Forty-two urban firefighters completed a repeat work protocol in a heat chamber (100 ± 5°C). Changes to leukocytes, platelets, TNFα, IL-6, IL-10, LPS and CRP were evaluated immediately post-work and also after 1 and 24 h of rest. Increases in core temperatures were associated with significant increases in leukocytes, platelets and TNFα directly following work. Further, platelets continued to increase at 1 h (+31.2 ± 31.3 × 109 l, p < 0.01) and remained elevated at 24 h (+15.9 ± 19.6 × 109 l, p < 0.01). Sustained increases in leukocytes and platelets may increase the risk of cardiac events in firefighters when performing repeat work tasks in the heat. This is particularly relevant during multi-day deployments following natural disasters.
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