NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Doctors are urging people to take the dangerous heat seriously as community groups work to help vulnerable residents stay safe.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center was not able to give an exact number but did say they’re seeing a few patients a day with some heat-related illness cases. The numbers they’re seeing are typical for this time of year. According to VUMC, most patients are people who work outside in the sun or in non-air-conditioned spaces and are arriving with mild to moderate symptoms including dehydration, headache, muscle cramps, and being occasionally close to fainting.

“I think so many people are dying, and affected with heat-related injury because they don’t regard it as severe as it can be. And they’re not aware that once they’re affected by the heat, it can move very rapidly and make them more seriously ill. So we ought to think of it and give it a great deal of respect,” said Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. William Schaffner.

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The Metro Action Commission has been out and about trying to help people stay safe in the heat.

People can get financial help through a program that covers the costs of utility payments like electricity and natural gas. MAC has also been giving out air conditioning units as well.

“If a resident is 62, or older, or they have someone that has a medical condition where being in a warm environment would jeopardize their health or they have a child that’s five years or younger, that is the population that we have prioritized as it relates to air conditioner units for homes, said Lisa McCrady Communications Director for Metro Action Commission. “We qualify the person pretty much on-site, a lot of people will come in with everything that they need and so we’re able to give those units out right then and there.”

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They have handed out nearly 140 units so far this year to the most vulnerable residents of Davidson County.

“We’ve had situations where people didn’t have transportation, and we had to take it out. And so one of the things that really concerns us is when we enter a home, and there is no air moving, and it’s 100 Plus outside, and some people are afraid to lift their windows for various reasons,” said McCrady. “Those are situations where it really kind of rains true why this program is so beneficial to people who do not have proper air conditioning in their homes.”

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