Heat sickness on the rise as temperatures top 100 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Heat sickness on the rise as temperatures top 100

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Covenant Medical Center has seen an increase in admissions for heat-related illness since July 4th, and they say that stifling heat - and people being more active outside - is to blame.

Jonathan Skelton, M.D. is the medical director of Covenant's emergency department and he says heat related illness is nothing to joke about.

"You have dehydration and exhaustion, and all the way to heat stroke, so anytime you're going to be out in 90 degree plus weather, the possibility of heat related illness is going to be high."

Lubbock is expecting two more days of temperatures over 100 degrees and a projected temperature of 99 on Saturday, and Dr. Skelton expects heat related ER visits will only increase.

"With our temperatures going higher I anticipate that we're going to be seeing more cases over the next month."

Dr. Skelton says there are ways to protect yourself.

"The first thing is you want to avoid going outside if you don't have to. Second thing is if you do have to go outside try and maintain those activities in the very early morning hours, or late evening hours. And thirdly, you want to make sure that you take frequent breaks about every 45 minutes - come inside, or at least get in the shade if you're having to stay outside."

He continued, "The thing you want to remember most is you just want to minimize your exposure time in continuous heat."

He warned people without a working air conditioner in their house to take extra care to make sure they stay hydrated, and keep a close eye on very young children and the elderly, who are most at risk.

Also, if you have suffered heat sickness it can happen to you again, according to Dr. Skelton.

"They could be because that just means that they've not been maintaining their levels of hydration and their body is going to have less reserves to be able to handle those extreme temperatures."

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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