Temps soar: Beat the heat

Bright sun

As summer hits, so have the temperatures and an increase in heat-related illnesses presenting to the McLaren Macomb emergency department.

Ali Saad
Dr. Ali Saad 

Heat exhaustion, dehydration and shortness of breath are common chief complaints as temperatures rise.

"We're reminded every summer of just how dangerous the heat can be," said Dr. Ali Saad, an emergency medicine physician at McLaren Macomb. "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
Headache
Loss of consciousness
Nausea and vomiting
Muscle cramp
Dizziness
Confusion
Rapid heart rate
Fatigue

Dr. Saad 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 avoiding 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 near you begins experiencing these symptoms, head to the nearest emergency department for an evaluation by a physician.

Think you might be at an elevated risk for heat-related illness? Make an appointment with a McLaren Macomb family physician for a physical examination at mclaren.org/macombappointments.