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Temperatures are expected to march into triple-digit territory today and doctors warn people to take precautions to avoid becoming a heat casualty. This week will usher in the official start of Summer 2015 and there is a pre-summer sizzle expected for the entire week. For those who are going to be out and about in the elements in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, this first taste of summer heat can be overwhelming.
Dr. John Rowlett, an emergency room physician who works in Saint Joseph’s E-R, says it’s important to act quickly if you believe someone’s suffering from a heat-injury.
“The most important thing to do for someone in that setting is to get them out of the hot environment. If they have hot, wet clothes you need to get dry clothes on people, uh, get them to take fluids if they can, and if they can’t take fluids then they need to come and see us.”
He adds that this heat wave is catching some people off guard.
“We’re starting to get busy. The heat kinda snuck up on us, like it does sometimes. You know, we had kinda a nice spring, it wasn’t too bad and all of a sudden, it was summertime.”
Hydration tops the list of recommendations when it comes to preventing a heat injury like heat exhaustion and the more serious heat stroke. Heat stroke can kill. Doctors recommend plenty of fluids in extreme heat.
If you have to be in the elements, they suggest frequent breaks in the shade or an air conditioned environment. They add that if you have to be outside, do so earlier in the day, before the temperatures become more dangerous.
Dr. Rowlett says the very young, the elderly, and sick people are more vulnerable to heat injury, though it is a condition that can affect anyone at any age if they spend too much time in the heat.