Myrtle Beach hospital seeing a spike in heat-related illnesses

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Health officials are seeing an increase in the number of heat-related illnesses as the summer continues to warm up.

There are over 67,000 emergency department visits each year due to heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heat-related medical visits are common in Myrtle Beach, according to Dr. Scott Chewning, a second-year resident in emergency medicine at the Grand Strand Medical Center.

“Heat exhaustion can definitely be common here in the coastal area with a lot of visitors who might not be used to the heat,” he said.

Chewning said the rise in heat-related illnesses isn’t out of the ordinary in the area during this time of year. With many tourists coming into the state, he said they aren’t always familiar with the precautions.

“Having increased temperatures like we do across the summer, as well as people acclimated to the heat makes it a common presentation,” he said.

And with the Fourth of July weekend approaching, the Grand Strand Medical Center is prepared for any incidents that may increase the amount of cases even more.

“We definitely have increased capacity here in the emergency department for the past couple of weeks for tourists and any time there’s a holiday season,” Chewning said.

He said that the best way to prevent any heat-related illness is preparation. He recommends staying hydrated, along with recognizing if someone has been in the heat too long, will help slow the rise in these illnesses.

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