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What hospitals are doing to prepare for heat-related injuries

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 18:27:55-04

MAGIC VALLEY — With an unprecedented heatwave comes injuries and illnesses like heat strokes and sunburns.

St. Luke's Health officials say they usually see more sunburn-related injuries within kids during the summer — but these heat-related injuries are nothing new to hospitals.

“Historically, we always see heat-related illness. We do live in the Magic Valley. In a place where there are a fair number of people that do not have access to air conditioning. It inevitably causes illness in people," said Dr. Joshua Kern, Vice President of Medical Affairs for St. Luke's Magic Valley.

St. Luke's Health officials say they are currently seeing a high number of hospital census compared to previous years, but it is unclear how many of those are heat-related illnesses. But health officials are doing what they can to prepare for the ongoing heat.

“I think keeping heat-related illness on the differential is the main thing, so when you are evaluating patients in the E.R. really thinking about the impact of dehydration, heat stroke, heat illness on the list of possibilities is important," Kern said.

Making sure you stay hydrated is the most important thing to keep in mind. But if you are sweating a lot, health officials advise not to only drink water since you can get an illness as a result of heavy sweating and only replenishing with water, so making sure you have enough salt intake is key.