Tulsa Doctors Urge Precaution As Deadly Heat Wave Continues


Sunday, July 31st 2011, 8:36 pm
By: News On 6


Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – The deadly heat wave that's bearing down on Oklahoma has already set records for high temperature, water usage, and electricity use.

EMSA too has already broken its record for heat-related calls -- treating more than 230 people since June 1, 2011, and there's no relief in sight.

07/31/2011 Related Story: EMSA: 201 Patients Treated For Heat-Related Illness This Summer

News On Six is forecasting highs of up to 110 degrees this week. People around town say beating the heat just seems impossible.

"I don't remember a summer being this hot in Oklahoma and I've lived here all my life," said Tulsa resident Daniel Brooks. "Everybody I know has been staying indoors... I don't want to be indoors anymore. I want to go outside and do something."

"The big thing is fluid intake and try to limit exposure to heat as much as possible," said Dr. Gavin Gardner, OSU Medical Center.

Dr. Gardner says OSU Medical Center's Emergency Room is treating 10 to 15 patients a day with heat stroke.

"Most of these people are people who work outside in the heat," she said.

Others are kids who overdid playtime.

"Particularly elderly and children who have been exposed maybe in a home that hasn't been equipped with adequate air conditioning," Dr. Gardner said.

No matter who comes through the door, or why -- Dr. Gardner sees the same symptoms.

"Muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness," she said.

It's safe to say, no one wants to end up as a patient. So fill up a bottle, bring a jug to work or stop at water fountains -- just keep drinking water

Emergency room doctors also say this weather can make allergies and respiratory diseases worse. And so can some medications that don't mix well with extreme heat.