Stay cool during a heat advisory

With the temperature index heading above 100 degrees through the weekend (July 22-24) and an advisory in effect, McLaren Oakland's ER has already started receiving and treating patients with complications directly resulting from the heat.

Dr. Harrison Tong

Heat exhaustion, dehydration and shortness of breath have been the chief complaints from the heat.

"We're reminded every summer of just how dangerous the heat can be," said Dr. Harrison Tong, an emergency medicine physician with McLaren Oakland. "When it gets really stifling, like now, extra precautions should absolutely be taken and everyone should be on the lookout for symptoms."

Symptoms for heat-related illnesses include:
Excessive thirst Weakness
Loss of consciousness
Nausea and vomiting
Muscle cramps
Rapid heart rate

Dr. Tong suggests wearing light fabrics, light-colored clothing, hats and drinking extra fluids when going outdoors, while also advising against going out when the sun is directly overhead (approx. 12 noon to 3 p.m.) and unnecessary exertion.

"If you have to head outside when it's 90, 95 or even 100 degrees, take note of that fact and plan accordingly," he said. "And if it's an activity that can wait, maybe save it for another, cooler day."

If you or anyone begins experiencing these symptoms, call your doctor or head to the McLaren Oakland or McLaren Clarkston emergency departments.