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Indianapolis hospitals not reporting heat-related illnesses

Hospitals not reporting surge in heat-related illnesses

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Doctors at IU Health and Franciscan Health are not reporting a surge in patients coming to the Emergency Department in the hospital with heat-related illnesses despite the extreme temperatures in Indiana.

Doctors say this is good news, and it means people are taking this heat seriously.

Dr. Chris Hartman, an emergency medicine physician at Franciscan Health, says it is important to be aware of the signs of heat illnesses.

“If they’re feeling poorly in any way, they probably ought to be evaluated, meaning they have an altered mental state, they’re very sweaty, or they’re not sweating when they should be sweating, they’re pale, and they’re vomiting. Those people need to be evaluated in the emergency department,” said Hartman.

Prevention is the best course of action when it comes to heat. Wear light, breathable clothes, limit time outside, and hydrate before you get thirsty,

“The most important thing is you take your kids, your dogs out of those cars. Don’t leave them in a car for any period of time,” said Hartman.

Not everyone can stay indoors, and people who work outside need to be extra careful during these high temperatures.

“When you’re outside working, take breaks,” said Dr. Joshua Etienne, a second-year emergency medicine resident physician at IU Health. “If you can decrease your exposure time to 30-minute intervals, that helps. When you’re out there, drink fluids.”

There are high-risk groups who need to be extra vigilant including children, the elderly, and those who are sick.

“If you have the means and you have the wherewithal to check on folks that might be a little more at risk, especially the elderly,” said Dr. Tyler Stepsis, an emergency medicine physician at Eskenazi Health.

“Kindness matters.”

It is no surprise a heatwave hits Hoosiers harder. Doctors say we are not acclimatized to these extreme temperatures.