MDA Reports 37 Percent Increase in Heat-related Calls

MDA operations spokesman Zaki Heller said the calls were evenly distributed throughout the country.

Dozens of Israelis were treated yesterday for health problems stemming from the heat wave. Magen David Adom rescue service reported a 37 percent increase in calls for fainting, dehydration and heat stroke, and 100 people were taken to the hospital for dehydration and heat stroke. None suffered serious injury due to the heat. MDA operations spokesman Zaki Heller said the calls were evenly distributed throughout the country.

The Health Ministry recommended the following precautions to deal with the heat safely: Avoid nonessential, strenuous physical effort; drink plenty of water, eight to 10 glasses a day; stay in air-conditioned places when possible.

When you do go out, the ministry recommends wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and light-colored clothing, taking frequent rest breaks in the shade and avoiding sitting or leaving anyone in parked vehicles with the windows closed.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to cool itself in a warm environment and its core temperature rises quickly. Symptoms include reddened skin, a fever with no sweating, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion.

When a victim seems confused, emergency medical services should be called for treatment and to take them to a hospital. While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, the patient should be moved to a cool or shady location and cooled down using damp towels. Do not try to get the patient to drink; the paramedics will administer fluids intravenously.

Extended exposure to heat can also lead to the following symptoms: profuse sweating; pale, clammy skin; muscle aches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, fainting; rapid, weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing.

If the latter symptoms are present the patient should be taken to a cool location to rest, any tight clothes should be loosened and the body cooled with damp towels or the like. Water or other cold beverages should be sipped slowly. If the patient's condition worsens, medical attention is necessary.