Entries in Heat Wave (4)


Naked Man Gets Second-Degree Sun Burn in Texas Heat Wave

Peter Cade/Iconica(AUSTIN-TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas) -- Texas cops are trying to identify a nude man who was found asleep on a dock during the broiling Texas heat wave and has been hospitalized with second-degree burns over 40 percent of his body.

The man claims to not know who he is, police said.

"Our victim was altered. He didn't know his name, who he was or how he got there. He was found without an ID or possessions of any sort," said Warren Hassinger, spokesman for the Austin-Travis County EMS.

His burns were so severe that the man was airlifted by helicopter to an area hospital.

The man was found asleep on the boat dock of a private home and the woman who owned the home called police. He didn't wake up until a police boat from the Travis County sheriff's office arrived, prompting him to jump in the water, police said.

The officers notified EMS, who were prepared to perform an emergency water rescue. The EMS team successfully pulled the victim from the water and immediately noticed the severity of the victim's burns, which included blisters over his body from the blistering triple-digit heat.

"Sunburn doesn't rise to this magnitude because people normally remove themselves from that environment," Hassinger said. He described the severity of the burns to what they normally only see in house and car fire casualties.

The spokesman said that "organic issues or substance abuse" are suspected in the man's behavior.

"It was clear that something else was going on with him. This gentleman had other issues given that his sunburn was the clear consequence of other behavior," Hassinger said.

The woman who called police declined to press charges.

"No criminal charges were filed and there will be no criminal investigation," Hassinger said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Wave Linked to 7 Deaths in Chicago Area, Including 18-Year-Old

Burke/Triolo Productions/Comstock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The massive heat wave that is now suffocating the East Coast and pushing power grids to near capacity has contributed to at least seven deaths in the Chicago area this week, autopsies by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office revealed Friday.

One of the victims Cesar Rodriguez, 18, collapsed in front of his home Thursday while riding his bike and running around. He died later that day. His family said that he had no known medical conditions but may not have consumed enough water.

The most recent report from the National Weather Service said that at least 22 people had died because of the extreme heat and humidity. Emergency rooms reported Thursday that they were "stacked up" with patients.

"We're up in overall cases by 10 percent every day this week," the Detroit Medical Center told ABC News. "The chief of emergency medicine estimated that 15 percent to 20 percent are heat exhaustion or heat-related cases."

The worst day for the heat index is yet to come for the East Coast and the Mid-Atlantic region -- from North Carolina to New York -- where heat index values could exceed 115 degrees.

Half of the country is under a heat advisory, although the East Coast might have a slight break in the not-too-distant future.

According to senior forecaster Michael Eckerdt at the National Weather Service, the 100-plus degree temperatures might take a dip later this weekend.

"There is a cold front that is going to be dropping into the eastern U.S. this weekend," Eckerdt said. "The heat will continue into Saturday and then we will see moderating temperatures back down into around the 90-degree range as we move into Sunday and Monday. But it's going to still remain very warm."

The National Weather Service has safety tips for adults looking to keep cool.

  • Slow down. Try to reduce or cancel any strenuous activities, or reschedule them for the coolest part of the day.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect sunlight and heat.
  • Eat lighter foods. Meat and other proteins increase metabolic heat production and could cause even more water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water, but avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  • Spend more time in air-conditioned places. If you don't have an air-conditioner in your home, go to a library, store or other location for part of the day to stay cool.
  • Avoid getting too much sun. Sunburn can reduce your body's ability to release heat.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Safety Tips for the Summer Heat Wave

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As record temperatures continue to bake the country's midsection, heat-related hospital visits are on the rise.

Excessive heat warnings are in effect for a large swath of central United States, according to the National Weather Service.  And the scorching temperatures are expected to linger for the next couple weeks.

Central air conditioning and portable air conditioners can get expensive, so what can you do to avoid the heat?  Can you recognize the signs of heat exhaustion?  And would you know what to do if someone started to show symptoms of it?

Dr. William P. Bozeman, an associate professor of emergency medicine and the emergency services director at Wake Forest University, shared some tips with ABC News that will help you keep cool and recognize the signs of heat overexposure, and the steps to take if you experience those symptoms or see them in someone else.

Bozeman cautioned that it is important to be aware of the temperature. Temps in the 90s and higher are dangerous, and become more dangerous the higher they go and the longer they last.  The very young and the very old are at the highest risk, as their weight and age can impair their ability to handle high temperatures.

11 Tips for Staying Cool This Summer

1. Be aware of the heat.
2. Pay attention to your hydration status and be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
3. Try to stay in relatively cool areas, even when outside.
4. Avoid hot, enclosed places, such as cars.
5. Use a fan, if available.
6. Stay on the lowest floor of your building.
7. Eat well-balanced, light and regular meals.
8. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
9. Cover windows that receive a significant amount of sun.
10. Weather stripping and proper insulation will keep cool air inside your home.
11. Cool beverages are good for cooling down the body, while alcoholic drinks can impair the body's ability to regulate its temperature.

8 Signs of Heat Overexposure

1. Heavy sweating -- though if heat stroke sets in, the body can no longer compensate and stops sweating.
2. Pale skin.
3. Muscle cramps.
4. Feeling tired and weak.
5. Altered mental status (confusion or disorientation).
6. Headache.
7. Becoming semi-conscious or passing out.
8. Nausea or vomiting.

6 First Steps to Take After Recognizing Heat-Induced Illness

1. Call 911.
2. Get the person out of the sun and into a cool area.
3. Apply water to help the person cool off.
4. Apply ice to the neck or armpits, where large blood vessels are close to the surface.
5. Remove any heavy clothing.
6. Immerse the body in cool water, either at a swimming pool or in a bathtub.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Heat Wave Especially Horrible for People with Certain Illnesses

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With about half the country baking in a heat wave, hospitals in some of the worst-hit areas are reporting cases of people coming into emergency rooms with heat-related illnesses. Many expect more as the heat wave continues. And they don't necessarily involve heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

"We do not see a lot of hot people but rather people with diseases, alcohol, drugs, old age and disability whose conditions are worsened by the heat," said Dr. James Adams, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Very high heat and humidity can affect everyone, but experts say in addition to children and the elderly, people with the medical conditions that follow are especially susceptible to heat-related illness:

Allergies, Asthma and Other Breathing Problems

Allergy and asthma specialists say they are seeing more patients whose illnesses have been triggered by the heat and humidity as well as by increased levels of pollutants in the air.

"[We] have seen many new patients for the first time with a diagnosis of asthma made worse by heavy pollens and extreme temperature and humidity levels," said Dr. Clifford Bassett, medical director of Asthma & Allergy Care of New York.

Bassett also said that in addition to pollen, mold levels increase when it's very humid.

The heat wave is also causing more serious breathing problems, including very severe asthma attacks and a worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, several patients needed emergency treatment for both these conditions. One of them even needed a breathing tube.

During a heat wave, experts say room air conditioners may not make the environment cool enough.

Bassett advises anyone with allergies or asthma to stay where it's air conditioned, and to change and clean the filters frequently. If you need to go outside, check the pollen counts and pay special attention to ozone alerts.

Heart Disease

"During times of extreme heat, people are prone to dehydration," said Dr. Phil Ragno, director of cardiovascular health and wellness at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. "The more activities we perform, we're losing fluid through perspiration, and that decreases the volume of blood in our system. Blood vessels also dilate when it's hot, and as a result, the heart has to pump harder to circulate a smaller amount of blood."

Ragno also says people with heart conditions should drink a lot of fluids before they leave the house when it's hot and should keep hydrated throughout the day.

"People with heart conditions should weigh themselves each morning. If their weight is down a bit, it might not be body weight, but body fluid they're losing, which is a sign of impending troubles," Ragno said.

Pregnant Women

"Pregnant women are already undergoing a lot of physiological changes," said Dr. Eric Coris, associate professor of family medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. "Blood volume expands and sometimes blood return is not as good, so they may get swelling in certain parts of the body."

Increased blood flow and hormone changes that occur during pregnancy can make women feel hotter, and the swelling can have that same effect. As a result, women need to drink plenty of water.

Pregnant women with borderline high blood pressure also need to carefully monitor salt intake.

Other Tips for Beating Heat-Related Illness

Besides staying indoors where it's cool, experts have advice for others who need or want to venture outside.

"People who are bedridden and don't have access to water and are not in an air-conditioned area are at highest risk of developing heat stroke," said Slovis.

Athletes who are exercising for a long period of time should drink at least 8 to 10 ounces of water every 15 minutes. If they are exercising for 30 to 60 minutes or longer, Coris says they should drink sports drinks to help replenish the salt lost through sweating.

"Salt helps the body hold on to fluid and as your sweat rate goes up, you're losing salt as well," Coris said.

But doctors also say people who are diabetic or hypertensive should be careful with sports drinks since they may contain sugar and salt.

It's also important to be aware of the signs of heat stroke, including a shallow pulse, dizziness or fainting, fever with a severe headache, loss of consciousness or signs of confusion.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio