Clinton, Md. (WUSA9) -- After stepping outside for just a moment it is not hard to tell the Washington area is facing a heat wave. Every year hospitals admit patients who suffer from heat related issues, some which can be very serious.
There are a wide variety of symptoms for dehydration or heat illnesses. Some of the most common are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and muscle cramping. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms it is important to seek medical attention.
Dr. Vipul Kella, Vice-Chairman of the Emergency Department at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center is already seeing patients with heath-related illneses, "Patients may come in with simple illnesses like a heat rash, blistering over the chest or back or they could come in with heat cramps, so fatigue or muscle cramps. And then we've seen more serious cases of patients coming in with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, so they come in with nausea or vomiting all the way to being unconscious."
Dr. Kella advised that people should not be outside unless absolutely necessary. It is important to stay in a cool area with air conditioning, fans, or wet towels. If you are going to be spending time outside it is imperative to stay hydrated with water or mineral fortified water such as Gatorade. To stay hydrated it is best to consume at least eight, eight ounce glasses of water.
Dr. Kella says those who are at higher risk of dehydration or heat related illnesses are those in extreme age groups. This means children and elderly patients with other medical problems often have a harder time controlling their temperature.