MedStar Ready for Triple Digit Heat

Ambulance Service Already Responding to Heat-Related Injuries

By Chris Van Horne
|  Thursday, Jul 10, 2014  |  Updated 5:59 PM CDT
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It is that time of year again, as North Texas will likely hit triple digits by the end of the week.

NBC 5 News

It is that time of year again, as North Texas will likely hit triple digits by the end of the week.

It is that time of year again, as North Texas will likely hit triple digits by the end of the week. 

Local ambulance companies are already responding to heat-related injuries, though.
 
Since June 1, MedStar officials said they've responded to 67 heat-related calls.
 
Ten of those calls came on Tuesday, with four more coming after 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
 
From June to September last year, MedStar had 262 heat calls and 49-percent were for serious injuries. They average about five heat calls a day.
 
"Sweating, redness, clamminess, that's your first sign that you're becoming exposed to the heat," said Dustin Black, an operation supervisor for MedStar.
 
Black said MedStar's coverage area, which is mostly Fort Worth and the surrounding communities, appeared to be on trend for similar numbers again this summer and they only expect to see more calls as the temperature goes up. That's why they want everyone to be prepared now.
 
"Preventative medicine, knowledge and water," Black said. "The simplest things in life will keep you safe."
 
MedStar crews practice what they preach, as they take small coolers of just water with them every shift.
 
Heat related illnesses are usually progressive, heat exhaustion and if untreated, heat stroke.
 
MedStar has many other tips about the summer heat. 
 
Signs and Symptoms:

           Heat Exhaustion: 

  • Pale, sweaty, muscle cramps, nausea
  • Treatment: move to cool environment, rest, water
Heat Stroke: 
  • True medical emergency, body loses ability to cool
  • Hot, red, dry skin, unconscious (typically)
  • Treatment = move to cool environment, rapid cooling without shivering, call 911
Prevention:
  • Watch NBC 5’s weather forecast! 
  • Stay in on hot days if possible
  • Especially if previous medical conditions
  • Limit outdoor activity if temps or heat index > 100
  • Drink plenty of fluids, even if not thirsty
  • Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing and cover up from the sun’s rays
On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of children took refuge from the sun at the Sycamore Spray Park in east Fort Worth.
 
"It's hot today and this is something free that we can do," said Erika Young, who brought her children to the spray park.
 
Young is already taking the safety measures MedStar recommends, by taking the kids to cool environments and making sure they stay hydrated.
 
"Out for just short periods of time, if it's not water," Young said.

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