Doctor urges heat safety to prevent more hospitalizations

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — High temperatures this summer can make spending a lot of time outdoors dangerous.

Dr. Ryan Sullivan, emergency physician at Baptist Health, said it’s important to look out for preventable illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and stroke, to decrease hospitalizations.

“COVID is not the only thing people are coming in with, there are lots of sick people out there for lots of different reasons,” Sullivan said. “Absolutely, we need to decrease that load as much as possible.”

Signs of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy, excessive sweating and muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion can progress into heat stroke, which is very dangerous. If you feel symptoms of heat stroke, you are advised to call 9-1-1.

Symptoms of heat stroke include a throbbing headache, red, dry skin and a rapid pulse.

Sullivan encourages people to drink lots of water and to take breaks in air conditioning throughout the day.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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