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Australia Medicine Technology

Tiny Pill Relays Body Temperature of Firefighters In Real-time 67

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-in-the-pill dept.
pcritter writes "Australian firefighters are enlisting the help of tiny pill to battle fires. In a training exercise, 50 firefighters swallowed the LifeMonitor capsule which is equipped with a thermometer and a transmitter. The pill transmits data to a device worn on the chest, which also gathers data on heartbeat, respiration and skin temperature. This data is relayed in real-time, allowing better management of heat-stress during firefighting. Victoria's Country Fire Authority trialed this new mechanism when they found that the standard measurement of temperature by the ear was an ineffective indication of heat-stress. The pill is expelled naturally after two days."
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Tiny Pill Relays Body Temperature of Firefighters In Real-time

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  • Re:suit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:21AM (#42624033) Journal
    They wear heavy wool "suits", wool is fireproof and an excellent insulator that protects them from radiant heat that can melt a car windscreen from 100 meters away. Imagine dressing for an outdoors job in Chicago in winter, but instead your fighting one of these fires on foot, on a 40degC summers day, with 120km/h bone dry winds blowing off the central deserts for added discomfort. The surface temperature of the suit is meaningless, it's the core temperature of the human that matters. Thing is, these suits work both ways, it's just as hard for heat to get out as it is to get in, the body is left with no way to cool itself and ceases to function, often without much warning. "Heat stroke" is a major killer here, especially during a heatwave such as the one we are experiencing now. It's not just the sick, stupid, or elderly, a healthy (~12yo) boy sadly collapsed and died just last week while hiking with his dad.

    Disclaimer: I had a mild case of heat stroke as a child, it's like a cross between the worst food poisoning you have ever had combined with what feels like a pick-axe sticking out of your crown, I really wouldn't wish it on anybody, it's so painful you can't enjoy the hallucinations. Thing is, the day I got it was hot but nothing out of the ordinary, I was at a family BBQ with a bunch of other kids playing together, most likely I simply didn't drink enough fluids.
  • by TuringCheck (1989202) on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:50AM (#42624119)
    All water and air and pretty much everything on Earth has been recycled through other creatures...

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