July 6, 2010
As the heat continues to descend upon central Virginia, Charlottesville has its cooling center open, and hospitals and other agencies are ready to deal with the impact of rising temperatures.
Health officials said even though people generally know how to stay out of the sun and keep hydrated, it doesn't take long for the heat to affect someone. They say they've seen a few cases of dehydration and heat exhaustion.
With the sun beating down and temperatures above 100 degrees, health officials said it may not take a long time in the heat before someone has to call for an ambulance or be taken to the hospital
The University of Virginia Medical Center has already seen several people admitted to the hospital for dehydration. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad treated a woman who was golfing for heat exhaustion. Both the medical center and CARS said they're preparing for similar cases to come in the next several days as the heat continues to bear down on the area.
"What the emergency department's been doing today is just making their staff more aware of the environmental conditions and what medical conditions they might confront," said Tom Berry of UVa Emergency Management. "They've also taken a stock of their IVs and and fluids, just to make sure that they have sufficient amounts."
"The biggest concern is dehydration, heat exhaustion," CARS duty officer Chris Mehta said. "A more serious concern would be heat stroke. Those are the things that we anticipate."
Health officials said these are some of the consecutively highest temperatures they've seen in several years.