Cooling vest lowers the risk of fatal heatstroke

Monday, 12 April, 2021 | Supplied by: CoolVest Pty Ltd

A medical- and military-grade, self-powered, endothermic cooling device has been released as a solution to immediately treat heatstroke in high-risk industries such as mining, construction and agriculture. ERVest, certified as safe and effective for use worldwide by the CE, FDA and TGA, could save many lives lost to heatstroke. A key challenge to treatment of heatstroke is the speed at which it can attack the vital organs. Professor Stephen Bernard, Medical Director of Ambulance Victoria, said the main danger of delaying treatment is the fast escalation to vital organ damage or death. This presents a particular challenge to the mining, construction and agriculture industries. “Not only do these industries have many workers in hot environments, but they are also in remote environments,” Professor Bernard said. “Add to that unpredictable heatwaves, and the risk of heat illness is very high.”

Developed by CoolVest, the ERVest is able to cool a body from a fatal 42°C to the safe core temperature of 37°C in under an hour. Professor Bernard welcomed the introduction of this technology to Australia, adding that there are many workers in Australia who are at real risk of heatstroke, with very few effective ways to treat them onsite. “In some remote communities, you simply cannot get medical help to a person within that time,” Professor Bernard said. “The next best treatment option would be immersion in ice cold water, or placing ice packs over various parts of the body — but again, in a remote location, this is often not practical.” Professor Bernard added that in the instance of heatstroke in a remote location, the ERVest could be the difference between life and death.


“To me, this is a crucial piece of equipment that should be on every worksite, where it is likely the employee is exposed to heat, as part of an employer’s duty of care to their workers’ health,” Professor Bernard said. “It should sit alongside your defibrillator, your fire extinguisher, first-aid kit and so on.” As tougher manslaughter laws are introduced across Australia, CoolVest CEO Jonathan Weinberg, is urging employers across at-risk industries to be prepared with the necessary equipment. “If every work environment with employees at risk of sustaining a heat-related injury, and first responder vehicle, had access to life-saving medical equipment like the ERVest, the 500+ lives lost each year to heat-related conditions could potentially be saved,” Weinberg said.

Top image credit: © saeheng

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