Heat illness signs, symptoms

SMITHVILLE — A Platte County man died in Smithville following what may have been heat-related illness.

According to Smithville police, officers responded before noon June 16 to a person reported to have possible heat stroke near Helvey Lake off Helvey Park Drive.

“Officers arrived shortly after EMS and found a 49-year-old white male unresponsive. Lifesaving measures were attempted with no success,” states a police release posted to social media Friday, June 17.

The man, Terry George, was from Ferrelview in Platte County, said Smithville Police Chief Jason Lockridge, adding an autopsy is being done to determine the exact cause of death.

“He had been outside there for a bit of time from what we gathered from folks in the area,” Lockridge told the Courier-Tribune Monday, June 20. “This wasn’t someone homeless or living outside or anything like that.”

Lockridge said the death is an unfortunate reminder precautions should be taken by all who plan to be outdoors during extreme summer heat.

“You sweat more and lose more water and dehydrate quicker. This exacerbates other medical conditions that somebody may have so it’s something everybody needs to be aware of,” he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main tips for preventing heat-related illness are: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed.

Staying cool, according to the CDC, includes wearing lightweight, light-colored and loose fitting clothing; staying indoors in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible during extreme heat; limiting outdoor activity; and wearing sunscreen. Staying hydrated means avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol; drinking plenty of other fluids, especially water despite how active you may be. Staying informed includes being updated on heat advisories for one’s area and knowing the signs of heat-related illnesses.

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some are at greater risk than others. According to the CDC, these are:

• infants and young children;

• people 65 and older;

• people who are overweight;

• people who overexert during work or exercise; and

• people who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications such as for depression, insomnia or poor circulation.

“Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching,” states the CDC’s website, {a href=”http://cdc.gov” target=”_blank”}cdc.gov.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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