Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keeping Safe, Healthy and Active in a Heat Wave

Loyola emergency physicians available to discuss who is most at risk, how to recognize symptoms of heat-related illness

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Chicago is sweltering through some of its hottest weather so far this summer.

In the coming days, temperatures in the Chicago area are expected to spike into the 90s and combine with surging humidity to produce a heat index that has the potential to have a deadly effect on the human body.

"The heat and humidity that we're currently experiencing in the Chicago area can be dangerous, even fatal, if the proper precautions are not taken," said Dr. Mark Cichon, director of Emergency Medical Services at Loyola University Medical Center. "Though the elderly, young children and those with chronic health conditions are most at risk, people of all ages need to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is more serious, and seek medical attention when appropriate."

Heat exhaustion symptoms include:

* Clammy, cool skin * Dry mouth * Dizziness * Fatigue * Weakness * Headache * Nausea * Cramps * Weak and rapid pulse.

Heat stroke symptoms include:

* Hot, dry skin * Elevated body temperature * Confusion * Unconsciousness or convulsions

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.