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Temps soar: Beat the heat

Published on Tuesday, June 19, 2018



Dr. Brad Blaker
As summer hits, so have the temperatures and an increase in heat-related illnesses presenting to the McLaren Lapeer Region emergency department.

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. Brad Blaker, an emergency medicine physician at McLaren Lapeer Region. “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. Blaker 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 Lapeer Region family physician for a physical examination at www.mclaren.org/lapeerappointments.