Hydration key during heat wave

Heatstroke symptoms often misidentified

SAN ANTONIO - The track at the medical center in San Antonio lay bare, pounded by the sun but not feet during Tuesday afternoon's brutal triple-digit heat.

Many people played it safe and stayed indoors avoiding potential heat related health issues like heatstroke.

"Heatstrokes are preventable and some of the things one needs to do if you're elderly or a young child or anybody with a lot of medical issues is really during the afternoon hours to stay indoors," said Dr. Lillian Liao, trauma surgeon at University Hospital's emergency room.

Oftentimes, heatstroke symptoms are misidentified by people, attributing them to indigestion or even summer colds.

"If you stop sweating, you're developing nausea, vomiting, dizziness and you're outside, really it's time to go inside," said Liao.

University Hospital officials said they have not seen a higher number of patients coming into the ER with heat-related issues this week but would not be surprised if the numbers go up.

"If after like 15 or 20 minutes of being in a shady area and cooling off and you're not starting to feel better, especially elderly patients or young infants, they need to be brought in sooner rather than later," said Liao.

If you are working or exercising outside or your plans this week have you at outdoor amusement parks, Liao recommends drinking 16 ounces of water every hour to replenish what you've lost.

Another great indicator of healthy fluid levels, the number of restroom breaks you take.

"Basically if you've been outside for more than six hours and you haven't been to the bathroom then you're dehydrated," said Liao, adding that pale yellow urine means you're well-hydrated.


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