Albany Med Cardiologists Issue Heat Warning
July 17, 2012 - Albany , NY
ALBANY, N.Y., July 17, 2012-With temperatures climbing to near-triple digits, Albany Medical Center's cardiac care team offers special tips for people with heart conditions.
Steven Fein, MD, cardiologist at Albany Medical Center, advises that heart patients, as well as those who are overweight, or might already experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing are at greater risk for heat-related illnesses.
"Extreme heat affects the body's ability to safely regulate its temperature, which can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke," Dr. Fein said. "People with special needs should severely limit physical activity in extreme heat conditions such as those we're experiencing."
In addition, he adds that many heart patients are on medications such as beta blockers, ace inhibitors or diuretics that can increase the negative effects of heat on the body. He noted it was important that these patients continue their heart medications despite the impact of heat.
Fein recommends the following precautions for all individuals:
* Avoid the heat: Limit direct sunlight or strenuous outdoor activity. If possible, remain indoors. Remember to check on elderly neighbors who may not have air conditioning.
* Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Limit alcohol or caffeinated beverages that may contribute to additional fluid loss.
* Listen to your body: Take breaks, sit down, and avoid physical activity if feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion
* Fever, chills
* Dizziness or light-headedness
* A weak or rapid pulse
* Muscle cramps
* Fast, shallow breathing
* Nausea and/or vomiting
If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler place, stop exercising and cool down by drinking cold water and applying a cold, damp towel. You should seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.
Symptoms of heat stroke
* Inability to sweat
* Strong and rapid pulse
* Confusion and/or unconsciousness
* High fever
* Throbbing headaches
* Nausea and/or vomiting
If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.
For more information on Albany Med's cardiac services, go to www.amc.edu/heart.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region's largest physicians practice with 325 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region's health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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