Emergency physicians: Common summer conditions

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During the sunny summer months, emergency departments are flooded with traumatic and other injuries sustained during outdoor activities.

But McLaren Macomb emergency physicians also see a spike in other seasonal ailments that patients and parents should be on the lookout for during the warm months.

“As the seasons change, so do the chief complaints of patients who come through our emergency department,” said Dr. James Larkin, an emergency physician at McLaren Macomb. “While we see a high volume of traumatic injuries, everyone should take precautions against other very common seasonal afflictions.”

One very common diagnosis is skin irritation stemming from contact with an environmental irritant, such as an insect bite or sun exposure, which can appear as an itchy, sensitive skin rash or dry, flaky skin, or bumps and peeling skin.

“We get a lot of that over the warmer months, with people taking in more and more of nature,” said Dr. Julie Lata, an emergency physician at McLaren Macomb. “We definitely recommend everyone be aware of their surroundings when outdoors and how it might affect them. But we also understand that accidents happen, in which case, they should absolutely come and see us.”

Environmental factors can also cause severe reactions to allergy and asthma sufferers, which should also be treated in the emergency department. Heat exhaustion is another very common complaint.

“Symptoms of heat exhaustion can show in many ways,” Dr. Larkin said, “such as fatigue and dehydration, in addition to the very serious symptoms of neurological and behavioral changes and chest pain.”