Paramedics warn about heat-related illnesses

Credit: Troy Colson/ KTVB

Paramedics warn about heat-related illnesses

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 12:01 PM

BOISE -- Even though the temperatures have dropped from triple digits, the risk of heat-related illness is still high.

KTVB rode along with Ada County Paramedics to take a closer look at the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and ways to prevent them.

Paramedics say when it's over 100 degrees outside, most people are aware of the heat and try to avoid it.

But, when temperatures drop to the eighties or nineties, many forget just how easily they can get overheated, and how dangerous that can become.

Ada County Paramedics tell us they respond to more than 400 calls each week.

But this time of year, they know the heat-related emergencies jump up.

Paramedic Field Supervisor John Blake says everyone should understand the symptoms.

"Make sure you are aware that these signs and symptoms exist for yourself. That you know it's happening to you, it starts with a headache, start feeling dizzy, sweating feeling washed out feeling tired, it's time to take a break," said Blake.

Blake tells us plenty of rest and plenty of water is key to staying cool.

He says it's important to react to heat exhaustion symptoms before it turns to heat stroke, which can be deadly.

"Especially when someone stops sweating on a hot day, their behavior becomes altered, certainly if they are unconscious, dial 911, move them to somewhere cold, and start to actively cool them with cold wet towels," said Blake.

Blake also says they get just as many heat related calls when temperatures drop to the eighties or nineties.

"Doesn't have to be 110, that you can still have those signs and symptoms. You still need to take plenty of water, you still need to increase the frequency of your breaks," said Blake.

He says people who work outside all day, the elderly and children are most at risk.

In addition, Blake says once you notice symptoms, it's best to call 911.

Blake tells us if you see someone suffering from the heat you should get them into the shade as soon as possible.

He says these illnesses can often hit inside as well, if there is no air conditioning, or if it's not running.

Paramedics say you should be drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day, and you should also try to avoid working outdoors during the middle of the day.







 

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