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Dangerous heat leading to more emergency room treatments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local doctors say the temperatures have reached the danger zone, and more people are showing up to the emergency room needing treatment for heat-related illnesses

The staff at St. Francis Hospital in Bartlett says it’s dangerously hot. When that happens, more people show up to the emergency room. The staff started the day with a meeting to be prepared.

With the heat index soaring above 100 degrees. It’s nearly impossible to escape it.

“Today is by far the hottest day we’ve experienced this year. It’s rough on us,” construction worker Kennith Scott said. Scott and his construction crew work 12-hour shifts and have to stay on schedule. “The main thing we do is make sure we stay hydrated and stay in the shade as much as possible.”

Those are all good preventative measures that doctors hope others will take to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

“Get yourself into an air conditioned, or shaded, area as often as you can. It’s the prolonged heat exposure, and not drinking enough fluids that typically gets people into trouble,” Dale Criner, with St. Francis Hospital, said.

Doctors at St. Francis Hospital say more people have been showing up to the emergency room with heat-related illnesses. Some of them are mild and easily treatable, while others are more severe, like a heat stroke.

“The last couple of weeks we have talked about how we need to make sure we are getting IV fluids quickly to patients. Those IV’s need to be cooled, and in extreme cases we sometimes put cooling blankets on them as well,” Criner said.

Doctors say it’s better to act as soon as you feel something is wrong.

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