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Medical Heat Alert issued for August 9

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Posted at 1:49 PM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-09 17:03:00-04

EMSA medics responded to 5 suspected heat-related illness calls in the Tulsa area on Sunday, August 9

Therefore, EMSA is issuing a Medical Heat Alert for August 9.

We encourage everyone to take the proper heat safety precautions over the next several days.

Everyone should take these precaution to stay safe in the heat:

  • PRE-HYDRATION is key in preventing heat-related illness. Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement drinks several hours prior to and during long exposure to the summer heat.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a wide brimmed hat if working outdoors and take plenty of shade breaks.
  • No alcohol or caffeine.
  • Don’t limit your time inside with air conditioning.
  • Use the buddy system if working outdoors and check on elderly neighbors.
  • Keep a cell phone on you at all times when outdoors, including walking, running daily errands, yard work or sports and physical activity.

READ MORE: Heat Advisory safety precautions and tips

What is a heat alert?

EMSA issues a Medical Heat Alert when medics respond to five or more suspected heat-related illness calls in a 24-hour period. The Medical Heat Alert expires when EMSA responds to fewer than 5 suspected heat-related calls in a single day.

Where to go to stay cool?

The following cooling stations are open for business until further notice. We encourage all to practice social distancing if they utilize a cooling station:

The Salvation Army Center of Hope
102 N. Denver Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
24/7

John 3:16 Mission
506 N. Cheyenne
Tulsa, Okla. 74103
24/7

Dial 2-1-1 for locations, hours and other information. Dial 2-1-1 for information on applying for a window unit air conditioner or other resources.

How to stay safe in the heat

EMSA urges citizens to make a plan to stay safe during a heat advisory. Plan the amount of time you think you will be outdoors and take the appropriate amounts of water or other fluids with you, even if you're planning to be outside for a short amount of time. Plan your schedule to allow for frequent breaks indoors, if possible.

Heat Advisory Safety Precautions:

  • Slow Down - certain activities should be reduced or rescheduled for the cooler times of day.
  • Dress for the Heat - light-colored and lightweight clothing will reflect the sunlight and heat.
  • Drink Plenty of Water - the body needs water to stay cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if your not thirsty.
  • Stay away from alcoholic drinks or caffeine.
  • Try to stay away from getting too much sun - sunburns make it difficult to control body heat
  • Spend more time in air-conditioning
    • If you do not have air conditioning, find a cooling station or public space (such as libraries or malls) during the day.
    • Don’t limit your air conditioning. If you are concerned about your electric bill, call PSO or 211. They have programs that could possibly help you.
  • Use the buddy system if working outdoors and check on elderly neighbors.
  • Keep a cell phone on you at all times when outdoors, including walking, running daily errands, yard work or sports and physical activity.

Signs of a heat exhaustion and heat stroke

According to the National Weather Service, heat strokes and heat exhaustion is caused by a person's body heating too rapidly to properly cool itself.

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

  • Heavy sweating
  • WeaknessCool, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Possible muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

First Aid for Heat Exhaustion

  • Move person to a cooler environment
  • Lay person down and loosen clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible
  • Fan or move victim to air conditioned room
  • Offer sips of water
  • If person vomits more than once, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

  • Altered mental state
  • One or more of the following symptons: throbbing headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing
  • Body temperature above 103°F
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Faints, loses consciousness

First Aid for Heat Stroke

  • Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move the victim to a cooler, preferably air-conditioned, environment.
  • Reduce body temperature with cool cloths or bath.
  • Use fan if heat index temperatures are below the high 90s. A fan can make you hotter at higher temperatures.
  • Do NOT give fluids.

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