Awareness of Potential Health Emergencies is Key as Summer Heat Sizzles

Indianapolis, June 29, 2018 - Forecasts this week are calling for extremely hot conditions in Central Indiana this weekend and for the foreseeable future, and emergency physicians at Eskenazi Health want to make sure you take the necessary steps to stay cool during this time.

With temperatures reaching as high as the mid-90s and heat indexes nearly 10 degrees warmer, physicians warn these conditions can result in heat-related issues without proper preparation. Heat stroke or heat exhaustion can occur once temperatures hit 80 degrees or the humidity is above 75 percent.

“Heat stroke is caused by lengthened exposure to high temperatures combined with dehydration, which may result in the core body temperature exceeding 105 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Dr. Tyler Stepsis, an emergency medicine physician in the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department at Eskenazi Health. “The situation can become a medical emergency with possible outcomes including brain injury and even death.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website has some helpful tips to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion:

  • Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty!
  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car. Leave your pets plenty of water in shady areas.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and wear light-colored clothing.
  • Pace yourself while working or exercising in hot weather.
  • If it’s too hot in your home, take a cool bath or shower.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, go to the mall or library, or find a cooling shelter.
  • Keep an eye on people more likely to become ill from the heat: babies, young children, and older adults.
  • Check your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.

According to the CDC, symptoms leading to heat exhaustion include a lack of strength and energy, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, heavy sweating, pale and clammy skin, a weak pulse, muscle cramps and fainting. Heat stroke symptoms include altered mental state and one or more of the following symptoms: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, body temperature above 103° F, hot, red, dry or moist skin, rapid and strong pulse, fainting and losing consciousness.

If you or someone you are with begins to experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately by calling 911. Get to a cool, shaded place, remove unnecessary clothing, cool the body by spraying it with cool water and hydrate.

.The Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department is one of the busiest emergency departments in the state, treating more than 100,000 patients each year. For more information, please visit

CONTACT: Tom Surber and Devin Summan


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