FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Heat-related calls are keeping first responders busy this weekend.
MedStar ambulances responded to at least eleven heat-related calls Saturday. That comes on the heels of another ten the day before, and the weekend isn’t over.
It’s become an all too common call for paramedics when temperatures approach the 100-degree mark.
“Heat-related injury, 53-year-old female. Heat exposure,” MedStar Field Operations Supervisor Jason Hernandez said describing a recent call.
By the time CBS 11 caught up to the call in Hernandez’s supervisor vehicle, the ambulance had already taken the woman to the hospital where she could need hours of observation.
“Continued fluid therapy, would be the primary treatment, but along with that would be testing to make sure that no further injury has been caused,” Hernandez said.
When paramedic Ross Gaston’s ambulance reaches someone suffering from heat exhaustion the crew will typically start an IV fluid treatment and use ice packs to try to get the patient’s body temperature down. He says it makes a big difference if the people calling 911 can get the process started while help is on the way.
“First thing is to get them out of the environment, so get them inside, get them somewhere air-conditioned to start that cooling off process,” Gaston said.
“You get dehydrated first, and then after dehydration, your body temperature will start going up. As it goes up, you start cooking your organs mainly your brain,” Hernandez said.
Fortunately in most of the cases they’ve seen in the last couple of days, the patients have still been conscious. They say that’s because the people who called 911 did the right thing by reporting early.