VALHALLA, N.Y., July 6 (UPI) — High temperatures and humidity on the East Coast are a danger to the young, the old and those who work outside, officials at a New York hospital warn.
“One or two days of extremely high temperatures and humidity are usually not a problem for most healthy people,” Dr. David Goldwag of the Westchester Medical Center says in a statement.
“However, when the temperatures and humidity remain that high for more than three or four days, that’s when we begin to see the potential for a spike in emergency department visits by people suffering from heat-related illnesses.”
Heat cramps in the abdominal muscles and the muscles of the extremities occur as a result of excessive loss of sodium and other electrolytes, as the body looks for additional resources to cool down. Stay hydrated and find a cooler place to treat heat cramps, Goldwag says.
Heat exhaustion is most often seen in people who are out in the heat for an extended period of time. Symptoms include profuse sweating and nausea, possibly with cramps in the muscles of the arms and legs. Leave the heat and seek medical attention, Goldwag advises.
Heat stroke is the most serious and is seen in people who have suffered from untreated heat exhaustion. The body loses its ability to cool itself down, and body temperatures can go as high as 105-106 degrees F. Heat stroke can lead to seizures or even death if untreated, Goldwag says.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.