EMSA Issues Heat Alert In OK Due To High Temperatures, Humidity

Monday, August 5th 2013, 5:27 pm
By: News 9

Triple digit temps are scorching across Oklahoma on Monday. And that heat will continue on Tuesday. The high temperatures and increasing humidity have prompted EMSA officials to issue the fourth heat alert of the summer.

EMSA responded to seven heat-related emergencies in the Oklahoma City metro area as of 4 p.m. Monday. And 216 people have called 911 dispatchers since April 1 suffering from heat related emergencies.

Some of those patients have suffered the most serious heat illness, heat stroke, and have been transported in critical condition to local hospitals.

It's something we talk about every summer, but doctors say heat illness can quickly sneak up on you.

One of the first signs of heat illness is a rapid heartbeat. A normal heart rate for an adult is less than 100. Anything above that could be a sign your body is getting too hot.

Other symptoms include headache, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps and lack of sweating despite the heat.

"So you've lost your salt, now you've lost your water, now you've lost the ability to sweat. And so now you can't cool your body," nurse Julie Redmon said.

Doctors say don't ignore the signs and symptoms, or you could end up with heat stroke.

At that point, you have a 70 percent chance of death.

EMSA officials offered the following heat-related safety tips:

1. Remember, PRE-HYDRATION is key in preventing heat related illness. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks several hours prior to long exposure to the summer heat. Continue to hydrate throughout the day and take frequent breaks.

2. Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing and a wide brimmed hat if working outdoors and take plenty of shade breaks. Light colored clothing can actually reduce body temperature by as much as 5 degrees.

3. Check on elderly neighbors and loved ones. Make sure the elderly are dressed in appropriate cool clothing and the temperature of their home is comfortable.

4. Make sure playground equipment is a safe temperature for children . Parents, touch the equipment so that children aren't burned when they use the equipment to play.