Local Man Dies From Heat Stroke - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Brad Bean Reports

Local Man Dies From Heat Stroke

July 26, 2005--Posted at 10:30 PM CST

JONESBORO--During heat waves like the one that we are in, hospitals see an increase in heat- related accidents. The complications from heat exhaustion can be long term, and even lead to death. More than 50 people have died in this nation from heat stroke over the last two weeks.

We asked St. Bernard's Medical Center in Jonesboro if they had treated any patients with heat -related symptoms. What we found is not only have they had patients showing signs of heat exhaustion, but one died from a heat stroke.

St. Bernards Emergency Room Medical Director, Dr. Donald DeCarlo said, "His (the patient who died) temperature was up to 108. Unfortunately he died. There was no other explanation than he had died from heat stroke."

The man was left alone in his house, windows up and air conditioning off; an unfortunate incident but an all too familiar one. In the heat wave of 1995, 98 people died in just one month alone.

DeCarlo said, "When a patient has a heat stroke, their mental status has changed. They are confused. It is pretty obvious."

If your temperature rises above 100.4, you could suffer from heat exhaustion. Your symptoms include nausea, headaches and confusion. Above 104 degrees, you are at risk of heat stroke. Symptoms include seizures, heart failure and loss of consciousness.

Sweat work's to cool your body off by acting like a radiator. When you get dehydrated, your body stops functioning.

"You get a little bit dizzy, you get a little bit nauseated. You feel real drained, and you don't have a lot of energy. Those are signs you need to start drinking a lot of water, or you need to get out of the heat," DeCarlo said.

If you have ever had heat exhaustion, research shows that you are now more susceptible to the condition later on in life. The best advice, is if at all possible, stay indoors during the extreme heat and drink plenty of water.

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