Purpose: We examined the accuracy of the Heat Strain Decision Aid (HSDA) as a predictor of core body temperature in healthy individuals wearing chemical protective clothing during laboratory and field exercises in hot and humid conditions. Methods: The laboratory experiment examined three chemical protective clothing ensembles in eight male volunteers (age 24 ± 6 years; height 178 ± 5 cm; body mass 76.6 ± 8.4 kg) during intermittent treadmill marching in an environmental chamber (air temperature 29.3 ± 0.1 °C; relative humidity 56 ± 1%; wind speed 0.4 ± 0.1 m s −1 ). The field experiment examined four different chemical protective clothing ensembles in twenty activity military volunteers (26 ± 5 years; 175 ± 8 cm; 80.2 ± 12.1 kg) during a prolonged road march (26.0 ± 0.5 °C; 55 ± 3%; 4.3 ± 0.7 m s −1 ). Predictive accuracy and precision were evaluated by the bias, mean absolute error (MAE), and root mean square error (RMSE). Additionally, accuracy was evaluated using a prediction bias of ±0.27 °C as an acceptable limit and by comparing predictions to observations within the standard deviation (SD) of the observed data. Results: Core body temperature predictions were accurate for each chemical protective clothing ensemble in laboratory (Bias −0.10 ± 0.36 °C; MAE 0.28 ± 0.24 °C; RMSE 0.37 ± 0.24 °C) and field experiments (Bias 0.23 ± 0.32 °C; MAE 0.30 ± 0.25 °C; RMSE 0.40 ± 0.25 °C). From all modeled data, 72% of all predictions were within one standard deviation of the observed data including 92% of predictions for the laboratory experiment (SD ± 0.64 °C) and 67% for the field experiment (SD ± 0.38 °C). Individual-based predictions showed modest errors outside the SD range with 98% of predictions falling <1 °C; while, 81% of all errors were within 0.5 °C of observed data. Conclusion: The HSDA acceptably predicts core body temperature when wearing chemical protective clothing during laboratory and field exercises in hot and humid conditions.
Potter, A. W., Hunt, A. P., Cadarette, B. S., Fogarty, A., Srinivasan, S., Santee, W. R., … Looney, D. P. (2019). Heat Strain Decision Aid (HSDA) accurately predicts individual-based core body temperature rise while wearing chemical protective clothing. Computers in Biology and Medicine, 107, 131–136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.02.004