RAA Speaks to NBC12 About Difference Between Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke

This story originally appeared on nbc12.com

Heat is the country’s number 1 weather-related cause of death.

“You know, you’re outside one thing, enjoying the weather, enjoying what you’re doing, and the next thing you know, you’re passed out, and you don’t know what happened.” Danielle Geronimo, Field Operations Supervisor for the Richmond Ambulance Authority, said.

RAA says they see heat-related emergencies daily during the summer months. And it’s an emergency that needs to be taken seriously.

“It happens very, very quickly. It can be a matter of 15 to 30 minutes to where you can progress from just being hot to a heat stroke,” said Geronimo.

Knowing the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is essential.

Heat exhaustion symptoms include sweating, exhaustion, cramps, nausea or dizziness. Heat stroke is the more extreme case of heat exhaustion where symptoms escalate to an altered level of consciousness, confusion, hallucination, loss of consciousness and seizures.

No matter what you may have planned outdoors this summer, or if you work outside, prepare for the heat and stay hydrated.

“Slow, small sips is what we like to encourage,” said Geronimo. “Stay shaded, cover your face and head, wear hats, sunglasses. Sunscreen is extremely important. We also want to look out in the populations of the younger folks and the older folks because they hit them a little bit harder than, you know, folks of median age. Important to make sure you check your car before you leave.”

Geronimo says when they respond to those heat-related calls, it’s common for the person affected to have also been drinking alcohol.

“Avoid drinking alcohol, especially in the summertime,” she said. “There’s lots of concerts, baseball games, sporting events. Like you said, make sure you’re drinking that water and those drinks with electrolytes in them to keep you hydrated.”

Be sure to check in with our First Alert Weather Team.

We will keep you up to date with the high temperatures of the day and heat index values as we go through the summer months and plan to avoid any heat-related illness.

“Super important to look after yourselves,” said Geronimo. “Look after others. We have a lot of homeless folks in the population, so make sure you look out for them as well. So, if you see something, give us a call and let us know, and we can help you out.”

2023-07-06T10:46:53-04:00July 4th, 2023|
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