By Dr. Maria Simbra

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some local emergency departments are bustling with cases of dehydration and respiratory problems — consequences of the heat.

“In the winter, it’s flu, and in the summer, it’s injuries and heat-related things,” says St. Clair Hospital emergency medicine physician Dr. Jason Biggs. “This week, we’ve seen an increase over the past several days. People especially going outside doing landscaping, exercising, that tends to lead to problems. And that’s who we end up seeing in the emergency department.”

The elderly, people with no air conditioning, and people who overexert themselves outdoors have been at risk.

“It’s hard to gauge sometimes until it’s too late,” Dr. Biggs points out.

If you do have to be out in the heat, be sure to drink plenty of fluid.

“If you get behind the eight ball, it’s very hard to catch up,” he cautions.

And if you find yourself in heat-related trouble, it’s nothing to feel bad about.

“Hey, you need help. It’s okay. We’re here to help you,” he reassures.

To avoid ending up in the emergency room, stay indoors, especially in the middle of the day, and stay well-hydrated. If you have nausea or vomiting, trouble breathing, or confusion, you need to get to the emergency room right away.

Dr. Maria Simbra