Health and risk management of personnel in hot climates remains a Commander’s responsibility, with Joint Service Publication 539 Heat Illness and Cold Injury: Prevention and Management (JSP 539) being the guiding document for the UK military. This policy can be challenging to interpret occasionally, needing medical professionals to provide ongoing advice to commanders. This is to achieve a shared understanding of scientific concepts and risks to allow a more informed decision-making by commanders. This then leads to the appropriate mitigation of risks to as low as reasonably practical. Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3 saw commanders and medical cooperation at all levels with a practical and pragmatic application of the principles articulated in joint policy. The elements which saw enhanced cooperation included pathophysiology, work rates and work:rest ratios, rest and sleep periods, uniform, acclimatisation, and hydration and electrolyte balance. This approach was exhibited throughout the planning, deployment and execution of Exercise SAIF SAREEA 3, which saw extremely low levels of heat injury throughout the exercise when compared with SAIF SAREEA 2 and related exercises. This personal view aims to describe the command and medical interaction on SAIF SAREEA 3 which the authors feel contributed to those successes against climatic effects.
- primary care
- internal medicine
- health policy
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Contributors MBS and SW involved in researching, drafting and writing of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.