heat exhaustion

Your Body Isn’t Thrilled About Humid Days Either

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Texas summers are known to be hot, but when coupled with high humidity, the weather here can be brutal. While hot, humid weather can make anyone uncomfortable, it can also be deadly. Read on to learn how humidity affects the body’s ability to cool down on summer days, as well as warning signs to watch out for.

Why Humidity Matters

One reason humidity makes hot weather more unbearable is that the higher the relative humidity, the higher the temperature feels. For example, an outside temperature of 95° feels like 95° when the relative humidity is 30%. When the humidity is increased to 65%, that same 95° feels like a whopping 117°! A heat index chart factors relative humidity into temperature to provide a more accurate assessment of what the temperature feels like.

Today we are talking about heat and dehydration

Posted by Five Star ER on Wednesday, August 3, 2016

When outside temperatures approach the temperature of the human body (about 98°), the body undergoes a series of changes to help keep it cool, even if you are not exercising. The body cools itself by opening pores on the skin and releasing water and salts (sweat). As the water evaporates, it transfers the body’s heat to the air. But humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, so the body’s heat stays put.

The concentration of water in the air, relative to the temperature (relative humidity), determines the rate at which the water can evaporate from the skin. When the air is holding more moisture (relative to the total moisture it could hold at that temperature), it is harder for the air to absorb the sweat from our skin. The result? We sweat and sweat, but instead of feeling any relief, we simply feel hot and sticky.

High Humidity Can Be Dangerous

The problem with high humidity making us feel hotter is not just that we are more uncomfortable, but that our core temperature is actually rising, and our bodies compensate by working harder and harder to cool us down. When sweating doesn’t work to cool us down and we continue to heat up, heat exhaustion results, which causes loss of the water, salt, and chemicals that the body needs.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Thirst
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Muscle and abdominal cramps
  • Mild temperature elevations
  • Weakness

Key ways to avoid overheating are first, to be aware of not only the temperature, but the heat index; to drink plenty of water; and to take it easy, slow down, and cool off when noticing any sign of fatigue, headache, or increased pulse.

“You have to stay hydrated,” says Dr. Brian Aldred, medical director of Five Star ER in Round Rock, TX. “Cover up your skin with loose-fitting clothing as much as possible, stay out of the direct heat as much as possible, obviously sun screen and hats and visors are helpful to protect your skin, and just drink lots of fluids.”

Texas summers wouldn’t be the same without venturing into the great outdoors. But if things end up a little less than fun, we’re here to help. We’ll get you in and out and feeling better fast, because your emergency matters to us! Click to find the Five Star ER location nearest you: http://fivestarer.com/locations

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is locally owned and operated by the physicians of Emergency Service Partners, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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The Truth About Bats & Rabies

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On Wednesday, April 19, Five Star ER Medical Director Dr. Brian Aldred sat down with Dianne Odegard, Education & Outreach Manager at Bat Conservation International, to discuss rabies and bats. This topic has been in the news lately with bats testing positive for rabies at various locations in the Austin area.

Medical Director Dr. Brian Aldred is live for #WellnessWednesday on the topic of bats and rabies with special guest Dianne Odegard of Bat Conservation International.

Posted by Five Star ER on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Statistics from Texas Health and Human Services show that about 95% of the animals that tested positive for rabies are bats. But that information can be somewhat misleading. More bats are tested than any other animal, and it is important to remember that a very small percentage of bats are actually “carriers” of rabies. This means that the vast majority of bats who have rabies have contracted the virus and will die from it. Rabies is a serious virus that certainly can be fatal in humans, however, annually only about 1 – 2 people die from rabies in the United States.

Prevention is Key

If you encounter a wild animal that could have rabies, such as a bat, raccoon, fox, skunk or coyote, keep a safe distance. Never attempt to catch or kill such an animal. Call 311 if you have an animal in your home and need help removing it.

What to Do if You are Bit

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, usually with a bite. If you think you have been bit, or have come into contact with the saliva of an animal that could have rabies, seek medical attention immediately.

Why Bats are Important

Odegard tells us in the video about the different varieties of bats and their function in our ecosystem. According to Bat Conservation International, 78 bat species are endangered worldwide. Bats pollinate more than 500 species of plants, spread seeds in deforested regions, and eat insects; in fact, little brown bats have been observed eating more than 600 mosquitoes in an hour.

Bats are not naturally aggressive. Since we live in a city with a large bat population, it is important to be educated on how to coexist with bats in a safe way.

To learn more, watch the video, and visit www.batcon.org.

Download this notice for what to do if you find a bat in your school:
English  |  Español

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