August 21, 2014

Don’t let steamy summer weather send you to the ER

With temperatures again in the 90s and heat indices in the triple-digits, Nebraskans who are working outdoors are being reminded to take precautions to beat the heat.

Emergency trauma nurse Mary Jo Clark says wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes, take plenty of breaks and drink water or sports drinks, not anything fizzy.

“Soda-pop is not recommended,” Clark says. “The sugar in soda pop pulls (the water) out of your body and it is a diuretic.”

Hospitals across the region are seeing plenty of cases of heat exhaustion. Warning signs include: dizziness, being tired, headache, pale and clammy skin, rapid heart rate and faster breathing.

She says heat exhaustion can worsen and become heat stroke. You stop sweating and the skin becomes hot and dry as you’re out of fluids, your body will heat up, confusion may set in and you may even faint.

Clark says often times a person with heat exhaustion may notice it more on the second day when they feel nauseous or have flu-like symptoms.

Treatments include: lowering the body temperature with cool water or cool towels or sheets, getting out of the sun and into air-conditioning, and drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages.