What Wildland Fire Fighters Need to Know about Rhabdomyolysis
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2018-131
Rhabdomyolysis (often called rhabdo) is the breakdown of damaged muscle tissue that releases proteins and electrolytes into the blood. These things can damage the heart and kidneys, result in permanent disability, and can even be fatal! Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by exertion and becoming overheated. Early treatment can prevent serious medical problems. Because exertion in a hot environment is such a fundamental part of the job, fire fighters need to know the signs and symptoms of rhabdo to be able to quickly recognize the potential danger and get medical attention right away if they are not feeling well.