MedStar has announced that hundreds of people have been treated for heat-related illness during the summer months.
According to MedStar, crews have treated 165 patients with a primary impression of a heat-related illness since July. Of those 165 patients, 119 were serious enough to require transport to area hospitals, and 14 were in critical condition.
In August, 27 patients have been treated with a primary impression of a heat-related illness, with 14 were transported to a hospital and 2 in critical condition.
MedStar also reminded the public of ways to avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke during the warm summer months.
According to MedStar, heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses large amounts of water and salt through excessive sweating. This can occur during hard physical labor or exercise, and the loss of fluids can disturb circulation and interfere with brain function.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, paleness, sweating, nausea, and vomiting, and children and the elderly are especially susceptible.
MedStar said that heatstroke occurs when the body suffers from prolonged exposure to heat and loses its ability to cool itself.
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Common signs of heatstroke include confusion, vomiting, alteration in sweating, hot and flushed skin, rapid heart rate, decreased sweating, shortness of breath, decreased urination, increased body temperature, or even convulsions. Individuals experiencing symptoms of heatstroke should immediately call 911.
Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can be easily prevented, MedStar said.
By drinking water throughout the day, staying in a place with air circulating to keep the body cool, and wearing light-colored and loose fitting clothing to avoid absorbing the sun's light and trapping heat, individuals can avoid heat-related illness.
Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can also be avoided by limiting physical activity during the hot parts of the day and by checking on loved ones who are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness.
According to MedStar, crews have responded to four children left in hot cars this summer.
MedStar said Texas leads the nation in child hot car deaths and reminded individuals that children should not be left unattended in vehicles. Texas leads the nation in child hot car deaths.