Healthcare professionals urge everyone to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion


MEMPHIS, Tenn. ( – “The best thing to do is to prevent it in the first place,” says University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center Dr. Margaret Hartig. 

As we reach peak summer temps here in the Mid-South, healthcare professionals are urging everyone to take extra steps to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

We sat down with Dr. Hartig, who explained the difference between them. She says a heat stroke is the first level.

“That’s when you are sweating, and you are uncomfortable, and you are nauseous, tired.” She also said, “the real problem is the exhaustion, because that means you have gone past the heat stroke, and now you’re dry.”

That means you have lost a lot of the liquid in your body, something you don’t want to lose during extreme heat, for fear of the long-term effects like kidney damage. 

Dr. Hartig said, “As you’re getting dehydrated, your kidneys have to work harder, and they pretty quickly shut down.”

To avoid getting to this point, Dr. Hartig says drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine.  “The caffeine helps to get the fluids out of your body. It’s a diuretic.”

You’ll also want to wear loose-fitting cotton clothing if you’re going to be outside for long periods of time

Remember: you can always count on the Local 24 Storm Team to keep you up-to-date on the extreme heat.

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