Temperatures are rising and heat records are falling. As the recent heat wave melts thermometers around the First State, a Bayhealth physician has insight on how to keep you safe from the heat.
Bayhealth Assistant Chair of Emergency Medicine Ed Sciullo, DO, says the Emergency Department at Bayhealth Milford Memorial has treated an average of five to six heat related illnesses each week since the onset of the oppressive temperatures this month. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion patients are typically treated with IV hydration and electrolyte replacement.
If you have to be outside during the heat wave, there are several key steps you can take to keep yourself out of the danger zone:
Drink cool water every 15 minutes. Don’t wait until you feel ‘thirsty’ to hydrate yourself. Remember, alcohol makes your body lose water!
If you’re working outside, take regular and frequent breaks. Rest helps your body recover from the heat.
Seek the shade. If it’s possible, get yourself under cover to reduce your exposure to the sun and to keep your body temperature down.
If you’re exercising outdoors, try to do so before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m., when the sun is not at its peak.
According to Dr. Sciullo, people are most vulnerable to the heat when they have a pre-existing medical condition such as cardiovascular disease. You should stay aware of the possible signs of heat stroke such as confusion, fainting, seizures, nausea, weakness or profuse sweating. If you see somebody with these symptoms, play it safe and call 911 immediately!