Between July 26 and Aug. 1, the Missouri Hospital Association surveyed its member hospitals to identify the effects of the high temperatures emergency department utilization. 79 percent of the hospitals responding indicated they had experienced an increase in heat-related ED visits in the past month.For most the increase was small in number, between 1 and 10 additional patients. But several facilities said they had seen more than 50 extra patients for heat-related problems. Dehydration was the most common cause for patients’ heat-related ED utilization, with 79 hospitals responding they had provided care to dehydrated patients. Nearly as many hospitals reported patients with heat exhaustion, with 81.1 percent indicating they had treated patients with the condition.
Hospital statewide say they’ve seen a big jump in the number of heat-related illnesses reported since the heat wave started.