Emergency rooms seeing dehydrated patients as heat continues

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 5:40 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The dangerous heat is taking its toll on hospitals throughout Northeast Arkansas.

Hot temperatures and high humidity have caused problems across Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri, with one to four patients going to the emergency room with heat-related issues each day.

Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Missouri is seeing a trend in its patients.

“Most of the folks that we’ve seen interestingly have been young adult men who have tried to work out in the heat. After a day or two, they’ll just get worn out. They’ll get lightheaded, dizzy, and weak. They’ll come in and get some IV fluids, and generally, they do end up going home in the next few hours,” Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Curtis Horstman said.

Dr. Horstman explained most heat-related patients he’s seen this week were out working in the conditions for too long.

“Been a lot of people working outside or working in garages or other buildings or workspaces that are not air-conditioned, and after a while, the heat just got to them,” Dr. Horstman added.

Doctors recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing and light colors.

It’s also recommended to complete outside work before the day’s heat sets in.