EMS calls up as temperature rises
BATON ROUGE - EMS workers took another person to the hospital Friday to be treated for problems stemming from the rising heat in Baton Rouge.
The first day of summer is Saturday, with temperatures forecast in the 90s through next week as well.
Baton Rouge EMS said they've received 14 heat-related calls since the beginning of June. The latest was Friday morning after a man collapsed due to the heat outside a hotel on Constitution Avenue.
Louisiana State Police also reminded people to be aware of the rising heat, especially when it comes to pets or children in vehicles. They said drivers can take several steps to ensure they don't accidentally leave a child or pet in a vehicle, such as putting necessary items like a briefcase or phone in the back seat to make sure you check the vehicle's completely empty before leaving it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, high temperatures can overload the body's ability to cool itself down by sweating. Medical experts also said that's more likely to happen in the young and elderly, or among people who are dehydrated, suffering from obesity or a fever, and those taking some prescription medications or consuming alcohol.
The CDC says when people get too hot, it can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures, and warning signs include heavy sweating accompanied by cramping muscles, paleness, weakness or dizziness, headaches, nausea, or fainting. Someone suffering from heat exhaustion could have cool, moist skin, with a false pulse and shallow, weak breathing.
If untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to the more severe heat stroke, when victims stops sweating and temperatures can spike because their body cannot cool itself down. Other symptoms include a throbbing headache, strong and rapid pulse, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. If left untreated, medical experts said it can lead to death or permanent disability.
To prevent heat illness from getting worse, the CDC recommends immediately getting to a cooler, shaded environment and drinking cool water. Ice-cold water should not be consumed, according to experts, because it can actually slow down the body's ability to dissipate heat by restricting blood flow. Sponging the body down with cool water can also help quickly lower the body's core temperature to safe levels.
For more information on heat illnesses and how to treat or prevent them, click here.