Published August 26, 2020
Robert F. McCormack, MD, professor and chair of emergency medicine, is warning of the dangers of heat-related illnesses during the summer months, especially for the elderly and the very young.
“Heat is a risk for all, but especially at the extremes of age,” says McCormack, who is also president of UBMD Emergency Medicine.
Dehydration is the primary risk.
“Heat exposure can be life-threatening,” he says. “Sweating helps people to shed heat. If someone is hot and stops sweating, gets confused or passes out, it is a medical emergency and an ambulance should be called.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat-related illnesses — while preventable — are responsible for more than 600 deaths in the U.S. each year. Others at greatest risk are people with certain chronic conditions, such as obesity.
To help the vulnerable beat oppressive heat and humidity, McCormack offers the following five tips: