Parkland Hospital Warns About Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke

As the hot Texas summer continues, Parkland Memorial Hospital is warning people about the dangers of heat exhaustion.

Parkland has treated more than 70 patients with heat-related problems in its emergency department since 2015.

The hospital says first responders, specifically firefighters, are at an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. That's because temperatures inside firefighting gear can be hotter than the body usually tolerates. 

"Firefighters aren't afforded the luxury of knowing when, or for how long, they'll be required to work in the elements; and for that reason Dallas Fire-Rescue encourages proactive measures such as constant hydration, ensuring an available water supply and cooling measures on units as well as a buddy system for accountability," David Coatney, Dallas Fire-Rescue Fire Chief, said.

Experts say even a short periods of time spent in high temperatures can cause health problems. 

When heat exhaustion becomes heat stroke, it can be life threatening because it can damage internal organs, including the brain. Some symptoms of heat stroke include red, warm and dry skin, a body temperature more than 104 degrees, fast breathing, fast heart rate, vomiting, muscle cramps, and confusion.

If someone is experiencing a heat stroke, you should call 911 and try to help them cool down by getting them to a shady area, using cool water on their skin, and fanning them, according to Parkland.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1999 to 2010, an average of 618 people died each year because of excessive heat exposure. 

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