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Lexington emergency room doctors preparing for heat-related illnesses

Over the next three days, emergency rooms in the area are preparing for patients with heat-related illnesses to walk in hospital waiting rooms for treatment.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Over the next three days, emergency rooms in the area are preparing for patients with heat-related illnesses to walk in hospital waiting rooms for treatment.

“If you look at the forecast this week, I think every day it’s supposed to be 95 degrees, so once that happens, when people are outside, that increases the chances of heat stroke dehydration and so I’d expect some patient cases to come in over the next few days related to that,” said Dr. Michael Dodd, an ER doctor at Baptist Health.

Dr. Dodd has worked there for five years and knows heat-related illness patients will soon be walking through their doors.

“We’ll be ready for them,” Dr. Dodd said.

Dr. Dodd said there are three big illnesses to recognize when it gets this hot— heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn. He does have some advice.

“If you are out in the heat, that you’re using sunscreen, that you’re drinking water frequently, that you’re taking breaks coming inside out of the heat,” Dr. Dodd said.

But if you’ve been out in these extreme elements too long, look out for these red flags when it comes to overheating.

“Excessive sweating, if you start running fevers, if you start feeling really, really tired, that might be your red flags to look for,” Dr. Dodd said.

Dr. Dodd also said to watch for altered mental status and confusion, which could be indicators you should visit the emergency room.

We contacted UK and Saint Joseph hospitals and both said they haven’t seen any heat-related illness patients yet, but they’re prepared.

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