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Too much time in North Texas heat leading to more hospitalizations

By Nicole Nielsen

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    FORT WORTH, Texas (KTVT) — MedStar said it is prepared for a long week, expecting an increase in heat-related illness calls to come along with the high temperatures and higher heat indices.

By 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 14, seven people were taken to local hospitals, with two in critical condition and two in serious condition.

Last weekend, MedStar had a total of 16 heat-related calls with 12 people taken to the hospital, six in serious condition and two critical.

“These temperatures, on a daily basis when they get as hot as they are, or life-threatening, result in anything from heatstroke to death,” said John Hamilton, a MedStar Operations Supervisor.

Monday’s temperatures across North Texas were in the high 90s, bringing the heat index to at least 105 degrees.

That’s the number it takes to activate their extreme weather response, meaning lights and sirens are used on any heat-related call.

“This is an order to arrive quicker to somebody that may be out in the elements to avoid hopefully what doesn’t become a life threatening incident,” Hamilton said.

MedStar said it’s important for North Texans’ to realize how common heat-related illness can be and that anyone planning on being in the sun for more than an hour or so, needs to prepare.

“You need to take frequent breaks and frequent water brakes as well. Don’t exert yourself. Seek the shade when you can,” Hamilton said.

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