Doctor urges precautions after heat deaths in Franklin County

Doctor urges precautions after heat deaths in Franklin County

TRI-CITIES, Wash. –- Two men have died from hyperthermia in Franklin County, in the same week. Both men were elderly and died as they were doing simple yard work.

“It's horrible that we've had any deaths related to the heat,” Dr. Thomas Gelwix said.

Gelwix said Hyperthermia is a body’s failure to regulate its own temperature.

“It starts with what we call heat cramps, the next step up is what we call heat exhaustion, and then that can move into heat stroke,” he said.

Kids and the elderly are more likely to get heat stroke, but Gelwix hopes everybody is taking precautions this week.

“Stay out of the heat, get in the shade, and drink lots of fluids,” Gelwix said.

Health experts say heat exhaustion can be treated at home as long as the person can hold down fluids.

“If in doubt, I’d rather have them over call something and come in and be reassured this is something that could have been taken care of at home, rather than have someone be confused and stay at home and not get adequate treatment,” he said.

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