San Antonio doctors see more patients with heat-related illness in ER

The number of heat-related calls has more than doubled at some medical facilities in the San Antonio area.

SAN ANTONIO – The number of heat-related calls has more than doubled at some medical facilities in the San Antonio area.

Dr. John Tully with Baptist Health System said it’s troubling when they have seen at least one heat-related visit daily in the emergency department since June.

“This month, we’re seeing two, three more than we have in the past, so it’s higher. We’ve surpassed what we saw last July by halfway through this July, so almost twice as many,” Tully said, referring to patients with heat-related illness.

Tully said it’s important that people listen to their bodies and know when they need to take a break or, even more urgently, head to the hospital.

“If you’re thirsty, tired, a little muscle cramping, you should take a break in a cool area, drink plenty of fluids,” Tully said. “If that doesn’t resolve within 20 to 30 minutes of being in a cool area and you’re having severe symptoms, dizzy lightheadedness, shortness of breath, you should definitely be seen by a provider soon.”

Baptist Health System issued the following statement:

“Baptist Health System Emergency Department medical staff are seeing patients admitted to their EDs with heat-related illnesses daily. These include heat exhaustion and heat stroke with symptoms ranging from chest pain to heat rash, dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and others. Cases have continued to increase each summer with ED staff seeing them double in 2022 since the summer of 2019. Baptist Health System urges the community to take safety precautions at all times when spending time outdoors in the heat and to dial 9-1-1 in any emergency.”


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About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.