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Heat-Related Calls Down This Summer

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - When it comes to heat related calls, the summer of 2013 has been a quiet one compared to 2012.

Last year, MedStar responded to 344 heat-related calls from May to September.

With another two months to go, MedStar has responded to 200 fewer calls so far in 2013.

For the most part, temperatures have been cooler in 2013, which has led to fewer-heat related emergencies.

But as August begins, that could change.  On the first day of the month, MedStar responded to five heat related calls.

“Each day that its above 100, it makes it worse for all the people out there,” says MedStar paramedic Marshall Sharp.

At the Dallas Mayor’s Back To School Fair, Dallas Fire and Rescue treated eight people for heat-related problems.

EMS crews warn not to take the heat for granted and remind everyone to stay hydrated before going outside.

“It takes time for the fluids to get into your body where they need to be to effectively hydrate,” says Jason Evans from Dallas Fire and Rescue.

MedStar provided the following reminders for heat related emergencies:

HEAT CRAMPS (Non-emergency)
Symptoms:
·         Painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen
·         Heavy sweating
First Aid:
·         Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm.
·         Give sips of water, if nausea occurs, discontinue water
 
HEAT EXHAUSTION (Potential emergency)
Symptoms:
·         Heavy sweating
·         Weakness
·         Cool, pale, clammy skin
·         Weak pulse
·         Possible muscle cramps
·         Dizziness
·         Nausea and vomiting
·         Fainting
·         Normal temperature possible
First Aid:
·         Move person to a cooler environment
·         Remove or loosen clothing
·         Apply cool, wet cloths
·         Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
·         Offer sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue water. If vomiting continues, seek immediate medical attention.

HEAT STROKE (Potentially life threatening emergency)
Symptoms:
·         Altered mental state
·         Possible throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
·         High body temperature (106°F or higher)
·         Skin may be hot and dry, or patient may be sweating
·         Rapid pulse
·         Possible unconsciousness
First Aid:
·         Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Summon emergency medical assistance or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
·         Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment
·         Reduce body temperature with a water mister and fan or sponging
·         Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s
·         Use extreme caution
·         If temperature rises again, repeat process
·         Do NOT give fluids
 
Never Leave Children, Disabled Adults or Pets in Parked Vehicles
Each year, dozens of children and untold numbers of pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is an acute condition that occurs when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. Hyperthermia can occur even on a mild day. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults.  Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.

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