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SVMHS Urges Heat Illness Awareness and Prevention

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SVMHS Urges Heat Illness Awareness and Prevention

September 2, 2022 – With heat advisories and excessive heat warnings issued for the Labor Day weekend, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is urging people to take proper precautions to avoid heat illness, which can be life-threatening.

“This is a known threat,” says Misty Navarro, MD, Emergency Department physician at SVMHS. “We anticipate conditions which require people to take precautions to reduce extended heat exposure and stay hydrated. We urge people to pay attention to the warning signs of heat related illnesses and check in on neighbors who may be at risk or need assistance.”

Follow the H.E.A.T. reminders:

·Hydrate – drink plenty of water, especially if you are outdoors working or exercising

·Educate yourself and others about the warning signs of heat illness and take precautions

·Avoid overexertion when work outdoors is required and exercise during morning or evening hours. Take frequent breaks and rest in the shade.

·Take action – choose lightweight, light colored clothing and wear sunscreen. If you become lightheaded, weak, feel faint or nauseous, stop activity and seek medical help if needed.

There are a variety of heat related illness including heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is often a precursor to the more serious heat stroke and can include rapid pulse, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, vertigo, weakness, thirst, irritability, and a decrease in urine production.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), advises that any worker exhibiting symptoms of heat exhaustion should be taken to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment. They also recommend the following for those showing signs of heat exhaustion:

  • If medical care is not available, call 911 immediately
  • Make sure that someone stays with the worker until help arrives
  • Remove unnecessary clothing including shoes and socks
  • Cool the worker with cold compresses to the head, neck and face, or have the worker wash his or her head, face and neck with cold water
  • Encourage frequent sips of cool water

“We urge people to play it safe this holiday weekend,” says Dr. Navarro. “If you take the proper precautions and notice the early warning signs, you can avoid being a victim during these excessive heat days.”

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