Hospitals prepare for increase in heat related illness cases during heat wave

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) — People in the South Valley are no strangers to triple-digit heat.

As the first heatwave of the season approaches, Adventist Health in Tulare and Kaweah Health in Visalia are preparing their medical staff for an increase in calls.

Lionel Machado has been at the hospital in Tulare for 33 years.

He says they see an uptick in patients suffering from the heat every year when triple digits hit.

RELATED: Heat stroke vs. heat exhaustion: Here are tips to stay safe in a heat wave

He is also an avid runner and says people should avoid being outdoors during peak heat hours, as symptoms, like dehydration and loss of consciousness, can happen quickly and be deadly.

“We have seen people with heat strokes, and it can go as bad where they are having to be resuscitated depending on the severity and how long they have been exposed to either the sun and or the heat,” says Machado.

Local ambulance providers also see an increase in calls for heat-related illnesses.

Doctors say prevention is crucial.

“My recommendation is pretty simple, right? Pedialight for kids, if necessary, for a replacement, and then for adults, you could probably do some Gatorade. You know the sports drinks, but dilute them a little bit, because they tend to be a little bit sweeter and are very sugary,” says Dr. Khao Tu at Kaweah Health.

Also, ensure your pets have plenty of water. For indoor pets, make sure they spend as little time outdoors as possible, especially during the peak of the heat.

Young children, elders and people with asthma should also be extra careful and ensure they take steps before a heat wave to prevent illness.

“If you are waiting until you’re shaky, dizzy, lightheaded, heart starting to race, those are usually signs that you are already dehydrated, and sometimes that’s too late in the game already,” explains Machado.

He also says, “The air quality index, typically as the heat starts to rise, the air quality also becomes much much worse and for those people who have underlying respiratory issues that issue has a tendency to impact them significantly.”

Doctors urge you to take advantage of those cooling centers.

And if you must spend time outdoors for work, make sure you take frequent breaks in the shade and drink plenty of water.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.