AHS says to watch for signs of heat related illness in the extreme temperatures

By Leah Murray
August 10, 2018 - 4:29pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB – Western Canada has been baking under an intense heat wave this week.

The temperature in Medicine Hat as of 3:00 P.M. was 39.5 (40) degrees Celsius according to Environment Canada.

Alberta Health Services says dispute the unusually hot stretch of weather, there has not been an increase in the number of people heading to the Emergency Room in Medicine Hat with heat related illnesses.

Prolonged heat like this does increase the risk for conditions like heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Both of which can have serious and even damaging effects if not addressed.

Dr. Lizette Elumir, a Medical Officer of Health for the South Zone, said there are several warning signs that the heat may be having an impact on your health.

Signs of heat exhaustion include sweating profusely, feeling faint or dizzy, feeling tired and getting muscle cramps.

The signs it may have gone beyond exhaustion and into heat stroke can include a headache, confusion, a lack of sweating despite the heat, nausea and vomiting, loss of breath and a rapid heart rate.

“You can die from heat stroke,” Dr. Lumir warned. “It’s basically your body getting overheated and your body not being able to compensate. It can do damage to all your organs and your brain, over time.”

So what should you do if you develop heat exhaustion?

Dr. Elumir said the key is to cool your body down. She suggests relaxing in a cool or air-conditioned place out of the sun. You can also go for a swim or take a cool shower. She also suggests keeping hydrated by drinking water. Anything to help you cool down.

If it develops into heat stroke Dr. Elumir says you should seek medical attention right away because it can be damaging and even fatal.

No campfires in Cypress Hills Provincial Park