Eskenazi Health Offers Helpful Tips to Avoid Heat-Related Health Problems

Indianapolis, July 18, 2019 - Weather reports forecast extremely hot conditions in Central Indiana that will continue through the weekend. Eskenazi Health and its emergency physicians want to give you the proper tips to stay cool during the heat wave.

With temperatures reaching the high-90s and heat indexes climbing up to the 110s, physicians warn these conditions can cause 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.

“Spending too much time in high temperatures and elevated humidity conditions, along with dehydration, may create an extremely dangerous situation where the core body temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, causing a condition called heat stroke that can lead to permanent brain damage and death if not treated promptly.” said Dr. Tyler Stepsis, medical director of the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department at Eskenazi Health. “Prevention is key to avoiding this deadly condition, so keeping your body’s internal temperature at a normal level is necessary whenever you spend extended periods of time outside in dangerously hot temperatures. Please take time to check on the elderly, infants and young children, and those on multiple medications, as they can be predisposed to developing heat stroke.”

The Centers 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.

CDC-listed symptoms leading to heat exhaustion include a lack of strength and energy, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, heavy sweating, pale and/or clammy skin, a weak pulse, muscle cramps, and fainting. Heat stroke symptoms include an altered state and any 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 EskenaziHealth.edu.

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CONTACT: Tom Surber or Alex Driver
Phone: 317.880.4793
Cell: 317.402.9327
Pager: 317.310.5972
Email: thomas.surber@eskenazihealth.edu

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