SARDIS, Miss. (WREG)— The Mid-South has already experienced at least one heat-related death as temperatures climb above 100.
The coroner says 82-year-old Thomas Ellis was mowing the lawn at a Sardis, Mississippi church he attended when he got sick and died about three weeks ago.
They ruled his cause of death as “hyperthermia,” commonly referred to as heat stroke.
Friday marked the third day in a row, and 10th day this year, that temperatures in the Memphis area hit 100 or above. The entire area was under an Excessive Heat Warning.
Doctor Amit Prasad, the chief medical officer at Methodist South, said heat causes more deaths than any other weather event.
He said they are seeing an increase in heat-related cases at the hospital.
“Your body temp is 104, that’s hyperthermic,” Prasad said. “That can cause muscle breakdown, kidney damage, organ dysfunction, and these people are at very high risk of death.”
He says the youngest and oldest in our population, like Ellis, are most at risk.
So are people with COPD and asthma. The lack of rain also makes being outside more dangerous.
Prasad said he’s worried that people are not being careful in the heat.
His advice: Stay hydrated with water or drinks with electrolytes and avoid caffeine. Stay inside as much as you can, or in the shade. If you experience any symptoms of heat impacts like cramps or headaches, seek medical attention immediately.