Doctor: Never Underestimate Dangers Of Heat


hot-weather-2Along with the heat wave come some real health risks. But experts say symptoms of heat-related illness are not always easy to recognize. CBS 2 HD has what you need to look out for.

Some people like it hot, but the heat can be a very dangerous thing. Emergency room Dr. Tod Bania says heat stroke can kill.

“It could become a very serious life-threatening condition,” Bania said.

It may start as heat exhaustion but can elevate into heat stroke, and Dr. Bania says victims are not always aware that they are in danger.

“They may get a little confused and continue to exercise or stay out in the sun and not notice it themselves, so you really have to rely on other people to kind of notice it for you if you’re becoming confused,” Dr. Bania said.

Other symptoms include high fever, hot, dry skin and rapid heartbeat. Bania said get the victim to a cool place and give fluids and call 911 if the symptoms persist.

He said the elderly and young are particularly susceptible, and so are those who exercise in the heat.

“You sweat but the sweat is not able to cool off your body adequately. And your temperature continues to go up and you can develop heat stroke that way,” Bania said.

In fact, he advises not to exercise at all in the heat and to also stay away from alcohol.

“Alcohol may alter your perception of how hot it is, and your ability to recognize when you’re developing heat stroke and you may stay out in the heat even longer,” Bania said.

Finally, those with chronic medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes are advised to be especially wary of the heat.

“It may not be directly related to an elevation in temperature, but for a lot of people with chronic medical conditions, the medical conditions get worse in the heat,” Bania said.

And experts say some medicines can impair the ability to sweat, which can also raise body temperatures to dangerous levels.

{WCBS/Noam Newscenter}