Multiple people visiting local emergency room for heat-related illnesses


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) —Multiple people visited a local emergency room on July 19, for heat-related illnesses.

Temperatures are in the mid to upper 90’s and it looks like they will stay that high throughout the upcoming weekend.

With these high temps and summer sun, the Washington Regional Emergency Department wants you to be aware of the warning signs of heat illnesses.

Especially with heat danger being highlighted by the sudden and shocking death of former Razorback and NFl player, Mitch Petrus.

FILE – This 2012 file photo, shows Mitch Petrus of the New York Giants NFL football team. Officials say Petrus, a former Arkansas offensive lineman who later won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants, has died in Arkansas of apparent heat stroke. He was 32. Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs says Petrus died Thursday, July 18, 2019, at a North Little Rock hospital. Hobbs says Petrus had worked outside all day at his family shop, and that his cause of death is listed as heat stroke. (AP Photo/File)

He was 32 years old and died on July 19, of a heat stroke.

“It’s important to remember that heat-related illness can happen to all groups, not just the young and the elderly,” Washington Regional Emergency Department Physician Jess Daniel said.

He said it is easy to think you won’t fall victim to heat-related illnesses but it can even happen to the healthiest of people, according to Daniel.

“Our emergency department has seen a lot of heat-related illnesses recently,” he said.

In the span of an hour, three people showed up at Washington Regional with heat-related illnesses on Friday, July 19.

Daniel said it is important to drink plenty of water and to make sure you keep yourself cooled off.

“Get in the shade, if you are going to do any activities outside you wanna do it not in the heat of the day,” he said.

Daniel said the first step to know if you are experiencing a heat-related illness is to know your body and pay attention to certain changes.

“If you are feeling more tired than normal, have decreased sweating, and decreased urine output,” he said.

A big sign you should watch out for is a change in someone’s demeanor.

“Look out for confusion and someone not acting their normal selves,” Daniel said. “That’s going to be an immediate sign to call 911 and get some help.”

Daniel said you can avoid this by making good choices like not drinking alcohol or caffeine.

He said it’s best to go outside during the cooler parts of the day.

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