It has been incredibly hot here in the outskirts of Philadelphia as well as in the rest of the northeastern United States. Last night, as my family and I walked out of an air-conditioned sporting event, I was amazed at the wall of heat and the hot “breeze” that greeted us. It was after 10 pm, shouldn’t it have cooled off by then?
I was reminded how dangerous the extreme heat can be. I coughed as I took a deep breath of that hot air. How would someone with lung disease handle this? I looked at my children, school-age now, but I flashed back to my twins who spent most of their first year of life on oxygen after their premature birth. I thought of my parents, not elderly, but dealing with a fair amount of chronic illness.
For those of you dealing with the extreme heat these days, I urge you to be safe and to check on those around you, especially the elderly and the very young. Remind your patients to be mindful of the heat. Take care of yourself - stay hydrated and cool. Here is the link to the CDC’s Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness. Also, Nursing2011 published a great article last year, Summer Emergencies, Can You Take The Heat? It has information about preventing and treating heat-related illnesses, as well as drowning, insect stings, snake bites, and lightning injuries.
Stay cool and be safe!