High heat calls for even higher safety precautions, according to medical professionals

KOLD News 6-7 a.m. recurring
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona is officially in the triple digits, and will be for awhile.

According to medical professionals, it can be only a matter of minutes before you show symptoms of a heat stroke. It’s very important to stay aware to know when you or someone else should seek medical attention.

“People are starting to enjoy the outdoors a bit more. They are starting to take hikes a little bit later than they should,” said James Stoltenberg with AMR Southern Arizona.

According Stoltenberg, heat-related calls are already starting to trickle in.

“Usually what we are looking for is patients with extreme thirst. Dizzy. Light-headedness, vomiting,” he said.

He also mentioned when they get calls due to the heat, paramedics start by taking a look at the skin.

He says it can be very telling of a bigger issue when someone appears cold when out in triple digits. But, he said there are other symptoms a person may be experiencing, and signs they may even need medical attention.

“Those points and what they are feeling are the muscle cramps, they are unable to stand up anymore, they are extremely dizzy, light heated. And it really starts getting to be extreme when they start to vomit,” he said.

Family Medicine Specialist Dr. Jessica Watters agreed. She said sometimes these symptoms can be treated at home. But, if they don’t go away that’s when you should call 911.

“If you’re doing all of those measures and a half an hour has passed, an hour has passed and you’re not feeling better then you really need to be seen,” she said.

And if you’re not seen? She said these symptoms can have a lasting impact on your health.

“The long-term effect is when it starts to hit that level of heat stroke and your core body temperature is going up so high and it can actually have an impact on your brain and on your reaction. And it can be life-threatening,” she said.

It’s also important to note that heat dangers don’t just come from being outside but even in the car without the AC on. Both Dr. Watters and Stoltenberg said to be mindful of your loved ones in the backseat, whether that’s a child or a pet. ALWAYS make sure you leave the AC on or bring your family members inside with you. A hot car can turn deadly in a matter of minutes.

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