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Subject: PSF

Emergency Room Physician Cautions Texans as Summer Temperatures Soar


Dr. Christopher Langan, a board-certified emergency room physician and Chief Medical officer (CMO) of SignatureCare Emergency Center said each year, Texas sees a surge in heat-related visits to emergency rooms but many of these visits are easily avoidable.

HOUSTON, June 18, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Every year, heat-related visits to emergency rooms in Texas soar to unprecedented levels and many Texans lose their lives as a result of excessively high temperatures but board-certified emergency room (ER) physician and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Houston, TX-based SignatureCare Emergency Center, Dr. Christopher Langan said this week that majority of these deaths can be avoided.

"Populations at highest risk typically include older persons, children and adolescents, persons with preexisting health conditions, pregnant women, outdoor workers, persons with limited access to cooling resources, and persons living in low-income communities."

Langan said these illnesses and deaths occur because most Texans ignore warning signs of heat-related illnesses.

He cautioned that it is particularly important for certain segments of the society to be mindful of daily temperatures. "These include the very young, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. They are more susceptible to health issues as a result of high temperatures," Langan said

Dr. Langan further cautioned that Texas might see a repeat of 2023 summer temperatures this year, and urged residents to be mindful of that.

"It is easy to dismiss the weather and assume that you are young and healthy, and therefore not prone to heat-related illnesses. That is a mistake. Take the weather seriously as the temperature rises. If you are going to be outside for a prolonged period, take precautions, drink plenty of water, seek shelter occasionally and go inside if you find yourself feeling abnormal," he said.

Langan's advice echoes those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to a recent report by the CDC, older persons, children and adolescents, persons with pre-existing health conditions, pregnant women, outdoor workers, persons with limited access to cooling resources, and persons living in low-income communities are more prone to heat-related illnesses and death.

"The warm-season months (May?September) of 2023 were the hottest ever recorded in the United States, and adverse health impacts, including deaths and illnesses attributable to high ambient temperatures, received considerable attention.

"Hot weather conditions can affect all persons; however, for certain specific populations, exposure and health risks are compounded by adverse physiologic, behavioral, demographic, or socioeconomic factors that result in their being disproportionately affected by extreme heat. Populations at highest risk typically include older persons, children and adolescents, persons with preexisting health conditions, pregnant women, outdoor workers, persons with limited access to cooling resources, and persons living in low-income communities," the report said.

The CDC report continued that in the 2023 warm-season months, daily emergency room visit rates peaked in several regions and remained elevated for a prolonged duration.
According to the report, more males than females sought care in emergency rooms in the summer of 2023, especially males aged 18?64 years.

"During January 1?December 31, 2023, a total of 119,605 HRI (health-related injury) emergency departments (ED) visits were recorded; 92% of these visits occurred during May?September. Across the study period, July and August accounted for a higher average HRI (heat-related injuries) ED (emergency department) visit rate (303 per 100,000 ED visits) compared with other warm-season months (May, June, and September) (97). Further, the risk observed during July?August 2023 was more than three times that during May, June, and September, consistent with record-breaking temperatures observed across several HHS regions."

Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, rhabdomyolysis, heat syncope (fainting), heat rash, and heat cramps.

Dr. Langan said these are fairly easy to detect if you pay attention to how you feel while outside during times of excessive temperatures.

"Most of these illnesses are characterized by headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, heavy sweating, elevated body temperature, and decreased urine output. If you pay attention to these warning signs and act accordingly, then you should be fine but ignoring them can prove fatal," he added.

He urged anyone experiencing these emergency situations to seek immediate medical help by visiting a nearby emergency room.

About SignatureCare Emergency Center

Houston, TX-based SignatureCare Emergency Center owns and manages neighborhood 24-hour emergency centers throughout Texas, including emergency room (ER) locations in Austin, Killeen, College Station/Bryan, Midland, Odessa, Texarkana, Pflugerville and Lewisville, TX.

Media Contact

Felix Ofiwe, SignatureCare Emergency Center, 832-699-3777, [email protected], https://ercare24.com

SOURCE SignatureCare Emergency Center


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