A Day at the Beach Can Turn Into a Night in the Hospital

by Millennium Physician Group


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Even for the most seasoned Floridian, some summer days can be intolerable, and as the summertime temperatures rise here in Southwest Florida, heat-related illnesses become a real risk. Internal Medicine Physician Yvonne Braver, M.D., has tips so a hot day doesn’t turn into a trip to the hospital.

“You can get heatstroke in a matter of minutes,” she warns. “Many people are on medications which make it difficult to be out in the hot sun, or conditions that make it difficult to be out in the hot sun.”

Heat-related illnesses, like heatstroke and heat exhaustion, happen when your body can’t properly cool itself, causing your body temperature to rise faster than it can cool itself down.

Dr. Braver advises learning and recognizing the signs of heatstroke, these include:

  • a high body temperature
  • red, hot skin
  • fast pulse
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • confusion
  • passing out

“Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Don’t wait until you feel sick,” she warns. “If you start getting headache, dizziness, nausea, it’s too late. You probably already have heatstroke and should be seen.”

Heat exhaustion or heatstroke can cause damage to your brain and other vital organs, so it’s important to seek medical care immediately. “I’ve had a number of patients who had persistent kidney problems following heatstroke, or persistent liver problems following heatstroke,” says Dr. Braver. “We may want to discuss your medications. It’s always a good idea if you’ve had to be seen urgently or have an acute illness, discuss it with your primary care doctor.

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