October 4, 2023

By Cindy Krischer Goodman, South Florida Solar-Sentinel

When a middle-aged man arrived Monday at HCA Northwest Hospital emergency room in Margate, Florida, with main muscle cramping from his ft to his shoulders. Dr. Craig Kushnir knew immediately what was occurring

“He was dehydrated,” the emergency room physician stated, including that he has seen a number of sufferers with intense muscle cramping in the previous few weeks as South Florida temperatures have climbed.

Medical doctors say all types of offbeat heat-related sicknesses are cropping up from this summer time’s excessive warmth and sending folks to native emergency departments. Whereas warmth stroke is without doubt one of the most worrisome well being dangers, the well being impacts of scorching temperatures can embody something from horrible nervousness desires, to painful kidney stones —  to folks being burned simply by falling on the bottom.

Rashes and burns

At Cleveland Clinic Florida, Dr. Aisha Subhani, chair of the emergency division, has had sufferers arrive with ghastly rashes. “They don’t perceive why they’re breaking out so badly and suppose they’re having an allergic response to one thing,” she stated. “Most find yourself simply being warmth rashes.”

Then there are the odd burns attributable to the near-100-degree temperatures: Youngsters who scorch their rear ends on the playground slide; the beachgoer who fries the underside of his foot on the broiling sand; or the senior who falls and burns themself on the pavement.

In Florida, the place falls are the main purpose folks go to emergency rooms, it will possibly take solely minutes when naked pores and skin hits the heated asphalt to trigger harmful accidents.

“The burns could be fairly severe,” Subhani stated.

Sunburns this summer time are also intense. “You’ve received individuals who go to sleep on the seashore, and get up and they’re toast with extreme sunburns,” she stated. “We now have to deal with them like a burn affected person.”

Sunburn is infected, painful pores and skin that feels scorching to the contact. (Dreamstime/TNS) 

Kidney stones

Folks in ache with kidney stones are frequent guests to emergency departments this summer time, too, docs say.

Tremendous-hot climate tends to set off dehydration, which may result in stone formation.

Dr. Raymond J. Leveillee, a urologist with the Heart for Superior Robotics and Urologic Care at Baptist Well being Medical Group North, stated Florida, for instance, is a high-risk zone for kidney stones, significantly in the summertime.

Folks don’t drink sufficient fluid and get dehydrated, growing the prospect that crystals can type, Leveillee stated. Whereas folks outdoor lose fluids via sweating, these going into air-con are in danger too, he explains.

“In air-con, we are able to get dehydrated from water evaporating from our pores and skin and never seeing it,” he stated. “It’s essential to maintain your physique temperature cooler, but additionally acknowledge even within the A/C it’s essential to hydrate.”

The quantity of fluid every particular person must drink varies primarily based on how a lot they sweat, he says. A great way to measure is that you must urinate a couple of half-gallon of liquid every day.

Some smaller stones could be flushed out by ingesting tons extra water or lemon-lime drinks.

Leveillee advises anybody with indicators of stones, reminiscent of ache beneath their rib cage that comes and goes, or has blood of their urine, to go to a physician. “In case you are in agony, go to an ER.”

Treatment reactions

AARP has alerted its members that hovering temperatures put folks — particularly older adults — in danger for remedy interactions. Sure medicines cut back blood circulate to the pores and skin and intrude together with your physique’s capacity to chill itself down. That makes it more durable for somebody to deal with the warmth.

“This problem is especially essential for older folks as a result of they are usually on extra medicines,” stated Kushnir at HCA Northwest Hospital. “When you really feel weak and dizzy and are sweating like loopy, that may shortly progresses to warmth stroke.”

Coronary heart medicines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, ADHD medicines, anticholinergics prescribed for Parkinson’s illness and overactive bladder, antihistamines and decongestants can have an effect on your warmth tolerance.

Different medicines may cause dehydration, and will make the pores and skin extra delicate to the solar, elevating the chance of a rash or sunburn.

Medicines that make your pores and skin delicate within the solar and put you at better threat for sunburn-like signs are antibiotics, antifungals, statins and diabetes medicines.