Lufkin ERs taking on more heat-related cases - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin ERs taking on more heat-related cases

Sharon Boyett is the Memorial Health System of East Texas Nurse Manager of Emergency Services. Sharon Boyett is the Memorial Health System of East Texas Nurse Manager of Emergency Services.
Doctor Hortencia Luna Gonzales is with Woodland Heights Medical Center. Doctor Hortencia Luna Gonzales is with Woodland Heights Medical Center.
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

By Holley Nees - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - As the sun beats down on East Texans, emergency rooms gear up for more patients.

"We've had a few come in already this summer which is kind of unusual because it's early," said Sharon Boyett, a nurse supervisor at Memorial Health System of East Texas. "We usually see them like in August or September when it gets really hot."

"We are seeing some patients that are coming in with mild complaints of just not feeling well, they're weak, nauseated, throwing up with mildly elevated temperatures," said Hortencia Luna Gonzales, an ER doctor at Woodland Heights Hospital.

Boyette says things can turn serious fast. If your body temperature gets too high, you could have nerve damage or convulsions.

"If you do start having headaches, leg cramps, you need to get out of the heat, get to where it's cool and try to rehydrate yourself, because if you continue to stay out with those kind of symptoms, you'll wind up with a heat stroke," Boyett said.

Boyette says nausea, dizziness and profuse sweating are symptoms of heat exhaustion. Gonzales says between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., you need to be in the air conditioning.

"Being in an air-conditioned area is very important, so if you don't have air conditioning feel free to go to the mall, the theater, church," Gonzales said.

As hot as it is out here, doctors say something as simple as carrying a water bottle around throughout the day and refilling it can help keep you hydrated.

"This summer from what I understand talking to a few patients, they say, 'well this is the hottest summer ever that I can remember in many years,'" Gonzales said.

So as the temperature continues to rise, emergency workers say to keep an eye on young people and seniors.

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