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Area hospitals prepare for an increase in heat related illnesses during this heat wave

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jun 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-20 07:47:27-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The excessive heat warning is still in place and local hospitals are seeing its effects. Every summer, hospitals prepare for an influx of patients coming in for heat-related issues, but this year, it’s even more severe.

"We’ve seen quite a bit more than I remember seeing last year. We see a lot of people coming in with dehydration but not regular dehydration. It's actually causing problems to their kidneys," Physician Resident at Spohn Shoreline Justin Hacnik said.

Normally hospitals see more older patients who come in for heat exhaustion-related cases, but they aren’t the ones more at risk this time.

"Most of the time, it's older patients who are prone to getting dehydrated in the heat, but we’re seeing that in all age groups these days just because of how hot and humid it is," Hacnik said.

Certain job occupations that take place outside have a higher chance of being hospitalized than other jobs.

"Construction workers, police officers or firefighters. Anyone who’s outside and has that environmental exposure and spends their day outside," Hacnik said.

In non-critical cases, patients can be in and out of the emergency room in a matter of hours, but in life-threatening ones patients can end up in an ICU for weeks.


"Those patients will, unfortunately, require a more intense form of care in the ICU, and it can be life-threatening," Hacnik said.

Before it gets to the point of making a trip to the hospital, look out for warning signs like feeling tired, thirsty, excessive sweating, and an increased heart rate. But above all, always listen to your body.

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