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How to stay safe from the El Paso heat & avoid a hospital visit

EL PASO, Texas -- After a stretch of triple-digit days, El Paso hospitals have seen an increase in patients suffering from heat-related illnesses this year compared to last year, according to an emergency medicine physician at Del Sol Medical.

"I think it's because the people are just kind of eager to go out and start their lives again, so we are seeing some numbers at least at Del Sol Medical Center and other hospitals here of people having some of those symptoms," Dr. Marco Diaz.

Diaz said on average there's about 400 deaths caused by heat related illnesses in the U.S. He said its important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Some early signs of heat exhaustion according to Diaz are feeling dizzy/lightheaded, profound sweating, nausea, clammy skin. "Those are vague symptoms and that's usually what we see people presenting to emergency room for," Diaz said.

Heat stoke is a much more aggressive form of heat exhaustion. If you're feeling confused, not sweating because you're dehydrated and if you're temperature rises quickly those are symptoms to keep an eye out for.

Once you start feeling early symptoms, Diaz recommends trying to cool off. "If you have access to a shower, or some ice packs, absolutely put those, start applying those and utilizing the resource."

If you're spending time outdoors, depending on your activity, try not to be outside during the hottest part of the day. If so, try to find shade and "it actually helps if you wear really light, long sleeve clothing or some kind of cap that covers your neck," Diaz said. He also recommends drinking a liter of cool water every four hours.

For your a look at how hot it's going to get in your area, click here.

El Paso / Local News / News / Top Stories / Video / Weather News

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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