Vanderbilt University Medical Center's emergency room is gearing up for what they expect to be a busy weekend.
With temperatures expected in the triple digits, experts urge citizens to be attentive to heat-related illnesses.
According to Dr. Corey Slovis, heat exhaustion will make you feel "weak dizzy and nauseated."
"You're just not thinking clearly," he told Nashville's News 2. "You need to get inside. You need to drink some cool fluids. You need to rest."
He continued, "Heat stroke is a life-threatening illness. [With] temps above 105 degrees, seizures, altered mental status, comas and it's certainly associated with death."
There are some who are more susceptible to heat than others, including, young children, elderly people and medical patients with heat, lung, and chronic conditions.
The humidity is expected to be low, though that is not necessarily a good thing.
As temperatures rise, the body continues to perspire. With lower humidity, sweat evaporates quickly. Experts say you may not notice how much you're sweating or how hot you're getting.
Animal experts also urge residents to be aware of your pets as they can also become quickly dehydrated.
Billy Biggs with Metro Animal Control says it's important for animals to always have fresh, clean water and plenty of shade.
"Dogs cannot sweat, so they pant and they secrete through their paws or pads," explained Biggs.
Pets should be kept inside during the extreme heat and never left unattended in a vehicle.
Biggs said, "We've had no animal die yet [this year], but we have in the past. If you're dog is in distress, we'll either remove it and/or give you a citation. [The] citation could be for environmental court, which is only court costs, or it could be topped up to a misdemeanor, which is 11 months, 29 days possible in jail."
For pets, symptoms of overheating include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, excessive drooling and weakness.
Overheating can be fatal for pets and if they show any symptoms taken them to a veterinarian immediately.
"It doesn't take long at all for a dog to have a heat stroke. Either permanent damage or death could result," Biggs said.
Animals with flat faces, such as pugs or Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke because they can't pant as effectively.
Animal control officials urge anyone who sees an animal in heat distress to call Metro Animal Control at 615-862-7928, or your local animal control office.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:07 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:07:37 GMT
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