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Heat-related illnessness numbers on the rise

6 months 3 weeks 3 days ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 June 30, 2016 11:09 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - About 10 days into summer and Baton Rouge EMS says it's seeing an increase in heat-related calls. 

With a high Thursday of 94 and a "feel like" temperature of 100, EMT Brad Harris says he's been busy.

"People are out more, they're enjoying themselves and unfortunately some people just aren't prepared for it," he said.

Many probably think it's always hot in Louisiana, but in the last month Baton Rouge EMS says there have been 25 percent more heat-related illness calls compared to the same time last year.

In the month of June, Harris says EMS responded to 55 heat-related emergencies.

"People doing yard work, playing outside too long or haven't properly hydrated.

When it happens, people usually start off feeling hot and sweaty. Muscle cramps might follow and it can progress into confusion and fatigue. In severe cases, a person can become unresponsive.

"Their body's lost control to regulate itself," said Harris. "Quit sweating, the patient may start have seizure activity."

This 4th of July weekend is expected to be a big travel and outdoor weekend. Elderly are at a high risk and so are children, who tend to ignore or misunderstand signs and symptoms of a heat emergency.

To avoid becoming ill due to the heat, Harris recommends hydrating often and staying inside, when possible.

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