MEMPHIS, Tenn.– As things continue to heat up, hospitals across the Mid-South are reporting a rise in heat-related illnesses.
Intense sunbeams and sweltering hot temperatures are leading to hundreds of hospital visits and hospitalizations in the Mid-South since the start of summer.
Dr. Mark Castellaw, a medical director for Baptist Medical Group, said in some cases the heat can be life-threatening.
“This is a very dangerous situation that we are in right now,” Castellaw said. “Part of the problem is people don’t respect the heat. They think they can go ahead and do things that they normally do.”
Baptist Medical Group reported at least 13 heat-related patients in the area since Mid-June.
St. Francis told us it’s seen a number of heat exhaustion cases in Bartlett and provided treatment for a few heat stroke patients at its Memphis location.
Meanwhile, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare reported an 87 percent increase this year in patients treated for heat-related conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Their health system has seen around 260 patients so far, including the 1-year-old who tragically died in a hot car outside his North Memphis daycare.
Dr. Castellaw said people must take efforts to beat the heat seriously.
“Don’t get out in the heat of the day for your daily jog or working in the yard,” he said. “Certain blood pressure medications put people at a higher risk and certainly this time of year. Also, avoid alcoholic beverages because they dehydrate you.”
This week, the WREG weather experts say we could see several scorching days of triple-digit temperatures.
Castellaw also said it’s important to keep an eye out for children and pets and to always hydrate and pre-hydrate.
“You don’t just drink when you get thirsty if you know you’re going to be thirsty drink before you get outside,” he said.