"THE HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)


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Week: 583.1 to 583.4

Guest: Amanda Niscar, Nurse Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control

Topic: Beat the heat with fluids

Host/Producer: Steve Girard

NEMA: Drink more water....coming up...

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NEMA: we're talking this week about how to beat the heat, and avoid getting heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Nurse epidemiologist Amanda Niscar, of the Centers for Disease Control has rule number one...

NISCAR: If I had to pick one thing that people forget to do when it's hot out...is that they don't drink enough water. it's very important that people take in non-alcoholic beverages...and then also, if it is during the very sunny part of the day to wear sun lotion...wear a hat - a wide brimmed hat, so that it covers their ears...wear lightweight, cotton clothing that's a light color. Things like that really help.  

NEMA: I know...it's common sense....but thousands of us are hit by heat exhaustion, and possibly fatal heatstroke each summer. So many of us live in the air conditioning, and underestimate the sun. Heat can kill. Protect yourself and your kids through prevention...and drink up! I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week: 583.2

Guest: Amanda Niscar, Nurse epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control 

Topic: Heat and the elderly 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Summer heat and the elderly...coming up...

NEMA: During the extreme heat of summer, we all have to protect ourselves from heatstroke and its precursor, heat exhaustion. There are subsets of the population we worry about more than others...like the elderly, who may not have made air conditioning a staple of their lives, and who may not take the steps needed to stay safe...  

NISCAR: For the elderly, it's very important for the community to get involved...so that they have a buddy, or maybe a grandchild...somebody who checks in on them twice a day...and make sure that they are consuming enough fluids. And if they don't have air conditioning, to have the windows open so that air can circulate, and have a ceiling fan on them to circulate the air. Cool sponge baths are very helpful, or giving them ice to help keep them cool.  

NEMA: Amanda Niscar of the Centers for Disease Control. Older folks could spend a dangerously hot summer day at the mall...where there's usually many things to do, some specifically geared to seniors. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week: 583.3

Guest: Amanda Niscar, Nurse epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control 

Topic: Heatstroke 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Understanding heatstroke...coming up...  

NEMA: Each summer, thousands of us fall victim to heatstroke...this is Amanda Niscar of the Centers for Disease Control...  

NISCAR: What happens with heatstroke is that the body's unable to control its temperature, and so the body's temperature rises rapidly and is unable to sweat appropriately....and so the body can't cool down, and that's when heatstroke occurs. And heatstroke is a medical emergency...it can be fatal, and you should definitely seek medical attention immediately. If you see a person who's feeling dizzy and nauseous, or possibly unconscious... heatstroke symptoms can also be confusion, a rapid heart rate, dizziness, and of course an extreme high body temperature. And actually, people experiencing heatstroke will not be sweating...there'll be no sweating - they'll just have hot, red, dry skin - because that mechanism has failed.  

NEMA: Amanda says getting a heatstroke victim cool, quickly, could save a life. Get them to shade, into a cool tub of water, spray them with water from a hose...anything to bring their temperature down. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Week: 583.4 

Guest: Amanda Niscar, Nurse epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control 

Topic: Heat exhaustion 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: The signs of heat exhaustion...coming up... 

NEMA: Heat exhaustion is many times the path to heat stroke. Amanda Niscar, a nurse epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control, fills us in ....  

NISCAR: A person with heat exhaustion is going to have heavy sweating, paleness... they may feel muscle spasms, or cramps...they're going to feel tired and weak...maybe dizzy or nauseous...they may even faint. Heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke, if not taken care of. Heat exhaustion is not necessarily a medical emergency...if you can stop whatever you're doing, rest...get some fluids...get into an air conditioned area, or at least get into the shade. But heat exhaustion should be considered an emergency if the symptoms are really severe, or if the person has other problems, such as heart conditions.  

NEMA: Amanda says fluids are important...but no alcohol! You can tell if heat exhaustion progresses to heatstroke when the victim is no longer sweating, has red, dry skin, and has a temperature of more than 103 degrees. If that happens, take emergency measures to cool that person down, and call an ambulance. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.