SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Another heatwave in central New York has brought more high temperatures to the region.
According to the New York State Department of Health, heat is the top weather related killer. Hospitals see an increase of heat-related illness patients during the summer months. Heat-related illnesses often include heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Dr. Louis Francescutti, an emergency room physician at Royal Alexandra Hospital, said his main concern is the people that are the most vulnerable.
“The people I’m worried about are the ones who are isolated. They’re socially disadvantaged, and they may not have friends or neighbors that check on them,” he said.
CNY Vitals ranks Syracuse as one of the more poorer cities with comparison to others within the United States. With homelessness being a direct result of the poverty within the city, Francescutti said the homeless population falls under the most vulnerable.
“The homeless are sleeping outside in this weather and don’t have access to cooling. It’s part of the reason why the death numbers are so staggering,” he said.
Francescutti practices medicine at a hospital in Canada, sometimes seeing patients experiencing heat stroke.
“They call it stroke because your brain stops working, similar to when you have a real stroke. It’s a true medical emergency,” Francescutti said .
“Whoever sees you in that condition, they need to start cooling you down. They need to do this through removing your clothes, turning on fans, and by putting ice packs in all openings within the body,” Francescutti explained.
Francescutti said the most important part in avoiding a heat stroke or symptoms of heat exhaustion involve wearing appropriate clothing, staying hydrated and being aware of colleagues who may be feeling unwell.