Heat-related illness strikes quickly

Heat-related illness strikes quickly

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - This summer heat has kept American Medical Response Ambulance Service busy.  From July 12 through July 14, ambulances were dispatched to a total of nine calls that were heat related.  Most of those calls, seven, were made July 14.

Dr. Alan Jones, chairman of the Emergency Department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said he is also seeing heat-related illness, but it's an average caseload. "Typically what we see is general fatigue and weakness," said Dr. Jones. "The individuals have not had enough to drink.  They've been out in the heat and they've gotten overheated."

Dr. Jones said most of the cases he sees, arrive when the heat index is above 100. Most cases are mild, but he said there are two types of heat illness you need to know about.

"When people start to get into trouble is when people don't recognize they are having some heat exhaustion," Dr. Jones said. "Heat stroke is when you have organs in your body not functioning correctly.  Most commonly they start to have some problems with their kidneys."

In those cases, call 911 immediately.

Replenishing fluids in the body is important, but Dr. Jones said more precautions are necessary.

"The real problem with heat-related illness is the thermoregulatory mechanism of the body, added Dr. Jones. "So, you actually do get too hot, and fluids are not the only remedy for that."

In other words, you have got to get out of the heat.

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