Officials warn of heat-related injuries

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 19:45:19-04

With heat advisories in effect for most of Central Texas, it's important to be careful in the heat.

Dr. Thomas Jones, an emergency department doctor at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, said there is a difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"In heat stroke they start getting neurological symptoms. They start getting confused. Heat exhaustion they feel weak, they feel tired," Jones said. 

Dr. Jones added that in 100 degree heat the average person sweats about 1 and a half quarts per hour. 

"We need at least one and a half of these [16 oz water bottles] every hour if you're out in the heat," Jones. 

Rene McDowell experienced heat exhaustion about a year ago after a run. She started the run before the sun came up.

"Once the sun came up, I just remember getting hotter and hotter and hotter and now I'm sweating like I've never sweat before," McDowell said. 

She managed to complete her run, but when she got home she felt nauseous. 

"That was it for me that day. I should've listened to my body," McDowell said. "I definitely will not put myself in a position like that again because it was very very scary.  I've never felt that kind of exhaustion before."

According to the National Weather Service, the symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • faint or dizziness
  • excessive sweating
  • nausea
  • rapid, weak pulse
  • muscle cramps
  • cool, pale, clammy skin

The symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • throbbing headache
  • no sweating
  • body temperature above 103 degrees
  • nausea
  • rapid, strong pulse
  • may lose consciousness

If someone is experiencing heat stroke, the National Weather Service said they should call 911 and try to cool themselves down before help arrives.

If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion, the National Weather Service said they should drink water and get to a cooler, air conditioned place.

"Prevention is your most important thing. Stay out of [the heat]. Stay shaded as much as a you can. Stay hydrated because the way that we deal with heat, generally, if its not an adaptation where we get out of it, it's that we have to drink fluids, we have to stay hydrated," Jones said. 

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.