High heat requires even higher safety precautions, health professionals say

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — Arizona is officially in triple digits and will be for quite some time.

According to medical professionals, it may only take a few minutes before you show symptoms of heatstroke. It is very important to stay aware to know when you or someone else should see a doctor.

“People are starting to enjoy the outdoors a little more. They start hiking a little later than they should,” said James Stoltenberg of AMR Southern Arizona.

According to Stoltenberg, the heat-related calls are already starting to come in.

“Usually what we are looking for are patients with extreme thirst. Dizzy. Dizziness, vomiting,” he said.

He also mentioned that when they receive calls because of the heat, the paramedics start by examining the skin.

He says it can be very indicative of a bigger problem when someone seems cold when in triple digits. But, he said, there are other symptoms a person may experience and signs they may even need medical attention.

“These stitches and what they feel are muscle cramps, they can’t stand up anymore, they’re extremely dizzy, slightly warm. And it really starts to get extreme when they start throwing up,” he said .

Family medicine specialist Dr. Jessica Watters agrees. She said sometimes these symptoms can be treated at home. But if they don’t go away, that’s when you should call 911.

“If you do all these measurements and half an hour has passed, an hour has passed and you don’t feel better, you really need to be seen,” she said. .

And if you are not seen? She said these symptoms can have a lasting impact on your health.

“The long-term effect is when it starts to get to that level of heatstroke and your core body temperature goes up so high and that can actually impact your brain and your reaction. And that can put life threatening,” she said.

It’s also important to note that the dangers of heat come not just from being outdoors but even in the car without the AC on. Dr. Watters and Stoltenberg said to be careful of your loved ones in the back, whether it’s a child or a pet. ALWAYS be sure to leave the air conditioning on or bring family members inside with you. A hot car can become deadly in minutes.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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Susan W. Lloyd