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Uncertainty Analysis of the Core Body Temperature Under Thermal and Physical Stress Using a Three-Dimensional Whole Body Model
  • Published Date:
    November 22 2016
  • Source:
    J Heat Transfer. 139(3)
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.39 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Heat Transfer
  • Description:
    Heat stress experienced by firefighters is a common consequence of extreme firefighting activity. In order to avoid the adverse health conditions due to uncompensable heat stress, the prediction and monitoring of the thermal response of firefighters is critical. Tissue properties, among other parameters, are known to vary between individuals and influence the prediction of thermal response. Further, measurement of tissue properties of each firefighter is not practical. Therefore, in this study, we developed a whole body computational model to evaluate the effect of variability (uncertainty) in tissue parameters on the thermal response of a firefighter during firefighting. Modifications were made to an existing human whole body computational model, developed in our lab, for conducting transient thermal analysis for a firefighting scenario. In conjunction with nominal (baseline) tissue parameters obtained from literature, and physiologic conditions from a firefighting drill, the Pennes bioheat and energy balance equations were solved to obtain the core body temperature of a firefighter. Subsequently, the uncertainty in core body temperature due to variability in the tissue parameters (input parameters), metabolic rate, specific heat, density, and thermal conductivity was computed using the sensitivity coefficient method. On comparing the individual effect of tissue parameters on the uncertainty in core body temperature, the metabolic rate had the highest contribution (within ±0.20°C) followed by specific heat (within ±0.10°C), density (within ±0.07°C), and finally thermal conductivity (within ±0.01 °C). A maximum overall uncertainty of ±0.23 °C in the core body temperature was observed due to the combined uncertainty in the tissue parameters. Thus, the model results can be used to effectively predict a realistic range of thermal response of the firefighters during firefighting or similar activities.

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