Increasing Heat-Related Illnesses

The extreme heat is causing some serious health concerns across Texoma. Doctors say they have been seeing an increase in heat-related illnesses.  Wilbarger General Hospital Physician Assistant Salvador Torres-Torres says he's been seeing patients with heat exhaustion, stroke, and hypothermia in these past two weeks. And he says most of the patients he has seen are children.

Vernon Resident Leon Psam says, "I've lived here four years. And I've never seen the heat like this. It's too hot, very hot. I think everyone needs to stay inside, drink more water, maybe go swimming." Psam is like many residents in Texoma, overwhelmed by the extreme heat. Due to that heat, Torres says they've seen a lot of kids with hypothermia because they are playing in the sun for long periods of time.

He says, "The kids are playing, playing, playing. Then when they come in the cheeks are so red, or they are so red. And they have those symptoms: their muscle hurts or their body hurts. They feel very tired." Torres says Wilbarger Clinic has treated three kids and three adults for heat related illnesses just in the last two weeks.

Torres says, "The patients come in because they think they have an infection since they have a fever, but they have a fever because it's so hot."  He says they come in very tired, dizzy, and red, but they're actually sick from dehydration. He says he either gives them an IV fluid or recommends drinking Gatorade because it has electrolytes which you lose from sweating. Also, as you always hear, drink plenty of water. Doing all those things, he says will help keep you and your family safe.

Torres says, "Their temperature goes down. They're not no more in hypothermia. And they do much better." He says they are also treating patients with heat exhaustion. The symptoms are very similar to dehydration.

Texoma dermatologists also say because of the sun exposure during the summer, they have been treating more patients for skin cancer and melanoma concerns. They've also been seeing more patients with skin rashes due to the heat.

Jessica Abuchaibe, Newschannel 6.