Rhabdomyolysis is a medical condition associated with heat stress and prolonged physical exertion, resulting in the rapid breakdown, rupture, and death of muscle. When muscle tissue dies, electrolytes and large proteins are released into the bloodstream that can cause irregular heart rhythms and seizures, and damage the kidneys.
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:
- Muscle cramps/pain
- Abnormally dark (tea or cola colored) urine
- Exercise intolerance
Workers with symptoms of rhabdomyolysis should:
- Stop activity.
- Increase oral hydration (water preferred).
- Seek immediate care at the nearest medical facility.
- Ask to be checked for rhabdomyolysis (i.e., blood sample analyzed for creatine kinase).