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Preventing heat stroke this summer

Posted: 3:47 AM, Jun 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-11 04:47:16-04

Summer may not have officially started, we are still a couple of weeks away, but this South Texas heat waits for no one.

The increase in temperature can lead to serious health issues, such as heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke. 

The number one way to prevent heat exhaustion or a heat stroke is to stay cool and hydrated.

Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating. Your normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit; with heatstroke, the body can warm up to 106 degrees F or higher in 10 to 15 minutes.

"The heat stroke is when your body reacts to being overheated. Your body temperature is over 104 degrees, you start to have kidney damage, you can have some muscle damage, and quickly also damage your brain, as well, in a different way," said Corpus Christi Medical Center Emergency Medicine Physician  Dr. Kim Onufrak.

Emergency Room Doctors have been seeing a fair share of heat-related illnesses.

"We are already seeing the affects of heat stroke in the ER. People come in that have been working out in the heat, especially those repairing roofs. They don’t have access to water as easily, they start to pass out, and they come into the ER, and we find they start to have muscle damage, kidney damage, they are confused, and so hydration is very important," said Dr. Onufrak.

Corpus Christi Medical Center Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Kim Onufrak says it is very important to know the signs of a heat stroke.

"The symptoms you can have: nausea, and vomiting, you can have headaches, you can have muscle cramps, you can start to have confusion, people can have seizures in the heat, and they can even go into a coma if the heat strokes get to be really severe," said Dr. Kim Onufrak.

Unlike heat exhaustion, a milder form of heat-related illness, heatstroke causes the skin to become red or hot; your pulse quickens and becomes stronger. If not treated immediately, heatstroke can lead to death or permanent disability.