DETROIT (WWJ) – Metro Detroit’s sizzling heat is keeping emergency rooms busy. Doctors at Providence Hospital in Southfield say they are seeing an increasing number of people with respiratory problems.
Emergency room doctor Steve McGraw told WWJ Newsradio 950 they’re seeing lots of people complaining of respiratory problems, and at least one case of heat exhaustion.
McGraw said while heat-related problems are more often seen in the elderly or very young children, anyone can get sick from the heat.
“People feel sort of weak and, at times, light-headed; dizziness, they notice they’re not urinating very much. Sometimes they feel mildly confused,” he said.
When should you see a doctor?
“If you notice that things that wouldn’t normally be difficult for you cause you to become short of breath. If you get out of breath even climbing a flight of stairs or walking a short distance. Even if, especially if, it’s at rest, you just can’t feel like you can’t catch your breath, it’s definitely time to seek medical attention or contact your doctor,” he said.
The doctor said the pre-summer arrival of the extreme heat seemed to catch a lot of people off guard. McGraw said it’s important to stay hydrated and inside in a cool environment if you can.
The official start of summer is still two weeks away, but much of the nation is sweating through near-record temperatures, with heat advisories and warnings issued across the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest on Wednesday.
A heat advisory was in effect in Metro Detroit until midnight, Wednesday. The extreme heat is expected to break on Thursday.
The deaths of four elderly people in Tennessee and Maryland have already been attributed to the heat in recent days, and public schools in Philadelphia and parts of New Jersey cut their school days short to limit the amount of time students spent in buildings with no air conditioning.
The National Weather Service is predicting a heat wave with temperatures nearing 100 degrees along parts of the East Coast and in the South. Forecasters said it will feel even hotter with high humidity and a ridge of high pressure parked there through Thursday.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.