Saint Joseph Health System preps for uptick in patients due to heat

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - 16 News Now is preparing you for the incoming heat here in Michiana and ways you can stay cool.

That’s why our own Joshua Short spoke with doctors with Saint Joseph Health System on Tuesday afternoon. They covered a lot, including the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“With heat exhaustion and heat exertion, you’re going to feel weak, tired, you’re going to feel hot, you might get sweaty, you’re going to feel thirsty,” explained Dr. Byars Wells, who specializes in emergency medicine at the Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka. “When it gets into more heat stroke, you’re going to have elevated temperature, altered mental status, your skin’s probably going to dry out quite a bit.”

Dr. Wells said the hospital does expect an uptick in patients over the next couple days as it relates to the heat.

“We might see a few more, especially patients that are at risk, maybe they have housing difficulties,” Dr. Wells said. “They may make their way inside if the heat is too much, even in the shade. So, we are expecting a few more patients.”

Dr. Wells said they are ready to manage those patients as they come in over the next couple days.

In the meantime, doctors are urging you to stay home or go to a cooling center if needed. But wherever you are, you should limit your time outdoors.

You’re also urged to look after older adults who may need extra care during this heat wave.

For more heat-related precautions from health officials, click here. We also spoke with Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic about heat-related health issues on Tuesday.

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