KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The agency also states heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable.
Medical experts at the Urgent Team Walk-In Urgent Care in Knoxville agreed. Nurse Practitioner Maggie Metz said it’s all about how people prepare before they leave their homes.
Metz said cool, lightweight clothing and lots of fluids are key to staying safe in the summer heat and humidity. “Staying indoors as much as possible, especially during those peak times during the day,” Metz added.
She said without taking those precautions, the risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke are higher.
Some symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, clammy hands, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness, dizziness, headaches, and even fainting.
If someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, Metz said it’s time to act quickly. “Going into shade, a shaded area, preferably into an air-conditioned area indoors.” She also said people in these situations should remove any excess clothing and drink water.
Metz went on to explain that if the above symptoms don’t subside within 20 minutes after taking action, the person should go to the Emergency Room because of a potential for heatstroke.
Some symptoms of heatstroke include high body temperature (103°F or higher), damp skin, headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and the loss of consciousness. If someone experiences these symptoms they should call 911 immediately.
Just a couple of miles away from the urgent care clinic, is Fountain City Park. A hot spot on a warm summer day.
Metz said she understands people want to be out and about, she just wants them to be safe while doing it. “With the change in COVID numbers lately, you know, we are wanting to get outdoors,” Metz began. “It is still important to get out and remember the measures that we talked about.”