Heat Alert Issued, 13 Hospitalized for Heat-Related Illnesses - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Heat Alert Issued, 13 Hospitalized for Heat-Related Illnesses

Posted: Updated:


OKLAHOMA CITY -- In the past three days, 13 Oklahomans have been transported to local hospitals complaining of illnesses related to the heat. Sunday's rain caused potentially dangerous effects throughout the day due to high humidity.

EMSA medics are advising extreme caution because of these conditions.

"The heat and high humidity is a dangerous combination for the human body," said Lara O'Leary, public information officer for EMSA.

"On extremely hot days, very little heat escapes the body, since the outside air is as warm - or warmer - than the blood. On very humid days, evaporation is slowed dramatically, making perspiration ineffective."

When the body is unable to rid itself of heat, heat illnesses (heat exhaustion or heat stroke) can develop.

"People have a higher chance of becoming dehydrated as heat and humidity increase," she said.

EMSA's Heat Alert is issued when paramedics receive five emergency calls related to the heat in a 24 hour period. At that time, EMSA believes the heat is having a serious impact on public safety.

Since late May, nearly 50 patients have been transported to local hospitals complaining of heat related illnesses. The first heat alert was issued May 30th for one week. The second heat alert was issued June 23rd and remains in place.

Precautions should be taken:

  • Spend some time in air conditioning, if possible. Even just two hours a day in air conditioning can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Try to go to a public building with air conditioning each day for several hours. Remember, electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help sweat evaporate, which cools your body.
  • Drink plenty of water and natural juices, even if you don't feel thirsty.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the
    coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy.
  • Avoid going out in the blazing heat, if you can.
  • If you must be out in the sun, use sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Keep shades drawn and blinds closed, but windows open slightly.
  • Keep lights down low or turned off.
  • Take cool baths or showers periodically, use cool wet towels.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine such as coffee, tea and cola. They can make you feel good briefly, but make the heat's effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which dehydrates the body.
  • Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Do not leave children or pets in a closed vehicle . . . even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach 140 to 190 within 30 minutes on a hot day.
  • Carry your cell phone with you at all time should you or someone near you need to call 911.

More On News9.com Weather

Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.