Heat wave hits local ERs

RALEIGH, NC "Water is good, but you also do need to mix in some electrolytes, so things like sports energy drinks and things like that, you don't want caffeine," said Dr. David Messerly of Rex Hospital. While both young children and the elderly are most susceptible to heat exhaustion, Messerly said it's often healthy adults who find themselves the victim of that ailment on days like this.

"We often see it in the middle of the road because those are the folks who feel like they're not gonna be affected by it, and so they go out and they do the things that they might normally do on a day when it was 70 or 80, not realizing that their body loses the capacity to get rid of heat when it gets hot and humid," he said.

Many took cover indoors or at least under the shade of trees and buildings. But some have to work in scorching heat. Among them, construction worker Rich King. Eyewitness News found him, clutching a one-gallon jug of water, near the construction site of the new Raleigh Convention Center.

"You just pace yourself, drink lots of water, and that's really all you can do," King said. He and his fellow colleagues got to work at 5 a.m. instead of a more normal 7 or 8 today in an effort to work in slightly cooler temperatures.

Other downtown Raleigh workers also did what they could. UPS deliveryman Art Threatt said he'd probably go through several bottles of Gatorade in the course of the day. Threatt said he looked forward to the end of the day, when he could head home - into his air-conditioning.

"I will take a shower, kick my feet up and probably go to sleep," Threatt said.

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