Heat-related illnesses on the rise in the Heartland

Anyone can easily fall victim to a heat stroke or heat exhaustion in high temperatures.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:25 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Now that summer is here and temperatures are climbing, heat-related illnesses are also rising.

We are already seeing temperatures in the upper 90s with the heat index in the triple digits here in the Heartland.

It’s not uncommon to fall ill while out in the heat for too long.

We talked with Cape County Private Ambulance Paramedic Fred Gross who said they’ve seen multiple patients dealing with illness due to the heat and want people to know the dangers of the high temperatures.

“We need to make sure everybody is drinking enough water, making sure they are drinking some Gatorades and Powerades to really hydrate and keep themselves replenished throughout the day because it’s a lot on a body to be able to be overheated like that and sustain it throughout the day, that’s a lot,” Gross said.

Gross said their staff is fully prepared to take care of patients in need of help.

“We typically prepare with ice packs on our trucks, maybe some water for our patients and then the employees here at the ambulance service drink enough water so they are ready throughout the day,” Gross said.

Gross said the heat can sneak up on you and you can easily fall victim to a heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

“They’ll start get muscle cramping, they will stop sweating, those are some typical signs that everybody needs to watch for because those are some early signs,” Gross said. “You can get tachycardic, which is a fast pulse rate. All of those basically, the simplest thing is fluids.”

Gross said to hydrate often while outside and if too hot to place a cool rag around your neck and cold water on your wrist to cool down the blood flow in your body.

“Of course, wear a hat, wear sunscreen, suntan lotion and keep those babies covered up. They’re going to burn significantly faster and always make sure you are hydrating,” Gross said.

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