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EXTREME HEAT: Taking Precautions

Heat Dangerous for Pregnant Women

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Staying put is hard for this expecting parent, but a recent scare has Libby Klutinis staying indoors more often and drinking lots of water. Staying put is hard for this expecting parent, but a recent scare has Libby Klutinis staying indoors more often and drinking lots of water.
Nurses are treating dehydration, a condition that can cause a number of problems for pregnant women, including early labor. Nurses are treating dehydration, a condition that can cause a number of problems for pregnant women, including early labor.

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The weeks of extreme heat have taken a toll on metro hospitals. Emergency rooms have seen an increase in heat related health problems, especially in those at risk.

Cooler temperatures may be on the way, but labor and delivery nurses say pregnant women need to continue to stay out of the heat, or it could lead to an unexpected trip to the hospital.

"There's lots to do to get prepared for a baby," mother-to-be Libby Klutinis said.

Staying put is hard for this expecting parent, but a recent scare has her staying indoors more often and drinking lots of water.

"I had an abruption where the placenta starts to pull away from the uterus which causes the cramping, which can be caused by dehydration," Klutinis said.

She spent two days in the hospital and it could have been longer. Doctors considered delivering the baby, 10 weeks early.

"It was very scary being a first time parent. You don't know what's going on, what to expect," the mother-to-be said.

The extreme heat has kept labor and delivery nurses at Integris Baptist Hospital busy. There were a record number of patients in June, and July is not far behind. Nurses are treating dehydration, a condition that can cause a number of problems for pregnant women, including early labor.

"If they would understand that the baby could possibly go to NICU and have an extended stay. And that could all be avoided if they just drink and rest instead of being in the 105 degree weather," said registered nurse Stacy Penland.

Nurses say no matter what the temperature may be, pregnant women need to drink lots of fluids because they dehydrate faster than a woman who is not expecting.

It is also important for the elderly, babies and young children to stay out of the heat and drink lots of water.

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