Heat-Related Illnesses Fill Emergency Rooms

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This week's high temperatures are beginning to take a toll on some, as emergency room doctors are seeing more heat related illnesses.

"I think there are certainly going be some increases (in patients) with this heat wave," Donald Smith M.D. said about an already busy emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Dr. Smith described some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion:
"Light-headedness, dizziness, not feeling well, general fatigue, just not feeling well at all. You can get sweaty, profuse sweatiness. It can even progress to nausea and vomiting," he said.

These symptoms are also being seen a lot in the ER at Camden Clark Memorial Hospital this week. But something you may not realize; much of it could have to do with your medicine cabinet.

"Some of the medications you're taking could result in a heat-related illness. Blood pressure medicine for instance, if you're taking blood pressure medicine, the individual has a higher susceptibility to heat-related illness," Greg Smith, CCMH spokesperson, said. "If you're taking medications, follow the practices as you would regularly for heat. Stay out of the heat, drink plenty of liquids and don't do any strenuous activities during the hot part of the day."

Health officials say if you have any signs of fatigue, profuse sweating and nausea, you should consider being evaluated by a physician.

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