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Patients with heat-related illnesses are becoming more frequent due to dangerously high temperatures



Indianapolis, Indiana – Because of the extreme heat, more patients are already seeking life-saving procedures, according to IU Health.

Many people will be affected negatively by the extreme heat, especially those who work outside and must continuously watch out for one another.

“The tough guy stuff goes all out the window. We don’t play that, and that’s part of the buddy system, too. If someone tells you, ‘Hey, you’re looking like you need to take a drink,’ we make sure that they do it,” Dan Livingston, the safety superintendent of Rieth-Riley Construction, said.

According to Dr. Steven Mahon, the medical director of IU Health Urgent Care, this deadly heat wave has increased the number of people seeking medical attention in hospitals and urgent care centers for heat exposure.

“IU Hospital system has seen an increased rate of heat exposure (and) heat exhaustion. Our urgent care sees more of the lighter cases, such as sunburn, headaches, cramping, and fatigue,” Mahon said.

Muscle cramps and fatigue are two examples of the warning signs and symptoms of heat disease, according to Mahon.

“When there’s an absence of sweating, any type of altered mental status, confusion, passing out, things that people are acting abnormal than they should be – those are times when we need to see hospital-level care,” Mahon said.

When working in the intense heat, employees said they keep an eye out for these indications.

“Obviously, sweating, profuse sweating or you stop sweating. Those are indications of heat-related illnesses. Heat exhaustion is probably the first that you start to encounter with leg cramps, other body cramps, and maybe you’re not walking so well,” Livingston said.

Mahon claims that the effects of high temperatures are also particularly pronounced in youngsters and older persons.

“Our younger population doesn’t have the ability to tell us when they’re experiencing these symptoms, so support from parents to keep an eye out for any changes and our (older population) are much more susceptible,” Mahon said.

If you must be outside, Livingston advises that you hydrate well and seek cover.

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