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Heat Related Illness—What You Need to Know and Free “Climate Change & Health” Webinar!

Dear Test, I hope you are enjoying the beginning of summer. This month’s Newsletter is about an important health issue that can be fatal if not recognized and treated promptly—Heat Related Illness (HRI). I developed acute heat exhaustion a few weeks ago, while attending my college reunion outside in hot weather.  I quickly developed the symptoms of heat exhaustion—thirst, muscle cramps, and nausea. I had worn a hat, drank a liter of water, and even ate a bag of salted potato chips to ensure I had some salt. But that was not enough. The symptoms came on suddenly within minutes. I was taken by ambulance to the local ER and treated with IV fluids, antinausea medication, and electrolytes. Heat related Illness is on the rise because of Climate Change.  There are more heat waves of longer duration and intensity, which increase our risk of heat exposure. (1,2) Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion Heat Exhaustion: “Heat exhaustion is characterized by an elevated core body temperature up to 104°F (40°C), along with heavy sweating, dizziness, headache, nausea, tachycardia, muscle cramps, and fatigue.”(3) Heat Stroke: “Heat stroke is defined as a core body temperature greater than 104°F (40°C) accompanied by hot, dry skin and central nervous system dysfunction such as delirium, seizures, or coma.” (3) Who is at Risk for Heat Related Illness? Basically everybody, but especially people over 60, young children, athletes and adolescents ( because they are outdoors more during the hotter months), people who work outside, people with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, lung conditions, and skin conditions.  (1,5,6) Other Risk Factors for Heat Related Illness: (5,6) • No Acclimatization • Medications • Dehydration • Alcohol...
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