Heat-related incidents have "spiked" in one week

8 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, July 03 2019 Jul 3, 2019 Wednesday, July 03, 2019 6:13:00 PM CDT July 03, 2019 in News
By: Zola Crowder, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA – Heat-related incidents have increased this week, according to Dr. Chris Sampson from MU Health Care Emergency Department.

“I’ve seen a spike in EMS calls due to heat this week, I don’t have specific numbers right now but there has been an increase,” he said.

Sampson said the incidents mostly involve construction workers, people doing outdoor activities or older people.

Harold Curry, a worker from Sam Gains Construction, got sick from the heat last week. He said he and his co-workers have been struggling since the temperatures spiked.

“I wasn’t drinking water. I was trying to get something done and wasn’t worried about getting anything to drink so I paid the price,” Curry said. “I just got dizzy and felt light headed so I had to get some water and take a little break.”

He said, anyone working outside should put their own health first. 

“Make sure you drink lots of water and eat a small snack. Even if you have to get away from the job just for a minute, make sure you take care of yourself,” Curry said.

KOMU 8's weather team predicts temperatures reaching 90 degrees for July Fourth with heat indices in the middle to upper 90s. However, passing showers and storms may provide rain-cooled air to break up the heat.

With so many people spending the holiday outside, heat injuries are a concern.

“We saw 10 heat related injuries over the July fourth weekend in 2018,” Sampson said.

On the fourth last year three children died from vehicular heatstroke. This happens a lot faster to children because their body temperature rises at a rate three to five times that of an adult. 

It only takes 30 minutes sitting in 75 degree temperatures to warm up the inside of a car to 109 degrees, so be careful during the holiday weekend. 

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