As summer temperatures climb, Dr. Arnold Agapito at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital says more people are vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, occur when your body can't keep itself cool. As the air temperature rises, your body stays cool when your sweat evaporates. On hot, humid days, the evaporation of sweat is slowed by the increased moisture in the air. When sweating isn't enough to cool your body, your body temperature rises, and you may feel ill, dizzy, confused, weak or experience nausea,” explains Dr. Agapito.
While seniors are more likely to be affected by high temperatures and heat-related problems than younger people, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can affect anyone if the conditions are right. The only way to address heat-related illness before it happens is to adopt a series of simple but critical precautions. When the heat index is high, stay indoors in air-conditioned areas, if you must go outside HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital recommends the following precautions:
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat or using an umbrella.
Drink plenty of water before starting an outdoor activity.
During an outdoor activity, take frequent breaks. Drink water or other fluids every 15 to 20 minutes, even if you don't feel thirsty.
Drink fewer beverages that contain caffeine (such as tea, coffee and soda) or alcohol.
Schedule vigorous outdoor activities for cooler times of the day -- before 10:00 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m.
If you have a chronic medical problem, ask your doctor about how to deal with the heat, about drinking extra fluids and about your medications.
For more information about heat stroke prevention please visit http://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visitwww.hospitalsisters.org.