Medstar: Sharp Increase in Heat Related Illnesses in July

DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF News) – North Texas first responders are urging residents to be safe as we enter the dog days of summer and temperatures hover around 100 degrees.

The Tarrant County ambulance service Medstar reports there’s been a sharp increase in heat-related calls since July.

“48 patients…eight of those patients were in serious or critical condition and 32 of those patients were transferred to the hospital,” said Medstar’s Matt Zavadsky.

Those are numbers first responders across the Metroplex are expecting to rise.

The two most common types of heat-related illnesses that lead to 911 calls are heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat stroke symptoms include paleness, excessive sweating, nausea and muscle cramps and can be treated by removing the person from the heat and re-hydrating them.

Zavadsky said heat stroke can be fatal.

“The body loses its ability to sweat. So, there people may be very dry to the touch or they may be very warm to the touch. They may have flushed skin and a changing level of consciousness,” he said.

When temperatures either hover or are over 100 degrees, Medstar urges residents to stay indoors but do have some tips if one must be outside.

“Pre hydrate…if you’re outside and you’re thirsty then you’re already behind the ball. Wear light-colored loose fitting clothing. Limit your activity. If you do start to feel that you’re experiencing a heat-related illness, call us right away,” said Zavadsky.

The Centers for Disease Control report that on average more than 600 people die from heat-related illnesses in the United States each year.

Copyright 2019. WBAP/KLIF News. All Rights Reserved.