During the hot summer months in New Orleans, the risk of heat-related illnesses is very real. It’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and your family from these potentially life-threatening conditions. If you experience the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, seek treatment in the ER at Tulane Medical Center. Here is an introduction to the health risks associated with excessive heat.
What Are Heat-Related Illnesses?
Excessive heat exposure can cause hyperthermia—also known as overheating of the body. Even very short spells of hyperthermia can cause heat-related illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 618 people die each year in the U.S. from heat-related illnesses. The elderly, infants, people with chronic medical conditions, and obese people have the greatest risk of experiencing heat-related illnesses. Outdoor workers also have an increased risk.
What Are the Types of Heat-Related Illnesses?
There are several different kinds of heat-related illnesses. Heat rash is one of the most minor. It causes clusters of red blisters and is most common in children. Heat cramps are muscle cramps that occur as a result of dehydration. Heat exhaustion causes fatigue, thirst, and dizziness. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related condition. People with heat stroke may experience nausea, vomiting, fainting, confusion, and coma. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate care in the ER.
How Are Heat-Related Illnesses Treated?
Prevention is the best way to deal with heat-related illnesses. Stay hydrated and avoid the sun during peak hours. Getting into the shade or an air conditioned building and drinking water can help reverse heat cramps and heat exhaustion. A person with heat stroke must get emergency care. While waiting for help, a person with heat stroke should be moved to the shade and given cool drinks, if possible.
The ER at Tulane Medical Center can offer life-saving treatments for people with heat-related illnesses. Our New Orleans hospital offers a range of services, including robotic surgery, cardiology, and orthopedic surgery. Find out more by calling (504) 302-0664 today.