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Understanding Heat-Related Illnesses


The Tampa Bay Times recently reported that a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that by mid-century the Sunshine State will experience some of the highest frequencies of extreme heat in the nation. Rising heat indexes will be most pronounced in South Florida, but North Florida will have more hot days as well. These assertions have been substantiated by Florida’s official state climatologist who stated that its findings are in line with other research on this topic after reviewing the new study.

While the excessive heat will obviously be unpleasant to deal with, the health impacts of rising heat indexes are particularly worrying. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of living in South Florida is that the threat of suffering a heat-related illness or injury is always lingering.

How Common Are Heat-Related Illnesses?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of over 650 people succumb to extreme heat every year in this country. These injuries are particularly sad because heat-related deaths and illnesses are totally preventable.

How Do Heat-Related Illnesses Happen?

Heat-related illnesses happen when the body temperature begins to rise to dangerous levels and doesn’t cool down, resulting in a rapid rise in body temperature. In normal circumstances, the human body sweat and is unable to remove heat that way. However, when the temperature is high, sweat does not evaporate as quickly which, in turn, prevents the body from releasing heat quickly. Fortunately, knowing how to recognize the signs of a heat-related illness can enable swift medical treatment that can prevent an illness or even death.

What Are Heat-Related Illness Symptoms?

While the best known heat-related illness is probably heat stroke, there are actually several different types of heat injuries that can present themselves when temperatures are high. For example, other potential injuries include heat rash, heat cramps, and heat exhaustion – all of which manifest in unique ways and require different treatment. But while there are many different types of injuries, the majority of them have the same signs and symptoms. These symptoms can include:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Changes in skin tone
  • Clammy hands
  • Muscle cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache

Have You Suffered From Injuries Because of the Heat?

If you or a loved one has suffered from a heat-related illness or injury due to another individual’s negligence or recklessness, the good news is that you are not alone and you have options under Florida law. As a victim of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and even property damage among much more. In these circumstances, it is imperative that you quickly obtain the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can determine whether you have a personal injury claim. Contact the experienced Tampa personal injury attorneys of The Pendas Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, West Palm Beach, Bradenton, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Miami and Daytona Beach areas.




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