Avera Medical Minute: Reducing visits to the ER this summer

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Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:33 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The winters can be brutally cold and long which means summer can be very rewarding. Avera Emergency Medicine Dr. Alan Sazama does not want your reward to be a trip to the emergency room though.

“Certainly we’ve been seeing a lot of heat-related complaints in the emergency department over the past few days,” said Dr. Sazama. “We worry about things like heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Things to watch for with that are lightheadedness, nausea, muscle cramps, even confusion.”

Concerts are returning in various capacities this summer, and the opportunities to be outside and enjoy alcoholic beverages will be abundant. Adding in the heat and dehydration from alcohol, some of those symptoms can quickly become prevalent. Supplementing some water will be key to reducing those opportunities for injury or trips to the emergency room.

Even with these prevention steps, summer tends to be a busy time for emergency rooms because of all the activities that come with the warmer months such as riding motorcycles, hanging around bodies of water, and lighting fireworks.

“Unfortunately Fourth of July is good for business in the emergency department,” Dr. Sazama said.

He recommends eye protection, following directions, and never have fireworks in your hand. While some are advertised as safe, any firework can cause burns to the hands or explode. If you are hanging near lakes and rivers do not forget the life preservers.

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