EMS ready to respond to heat-related illness at State Fair

7:18 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - Two-year-old Mackenzie Timmerman is back to her happy, bubbly self, but on Monday, the sun got the better of her at the Minnesota State Fair.

"She got really red in the face," said her mother Lisa, of Alexandria. "She just kind of stopped acting like a 2-year-old."

An ice pack, cold washcloth, cold water and cool air in the medical aid station did the trick. 

Minnesota State Fair officials said on Sunday, 80 people were seen by medical staff at the fair for heat-related illness and four of them were transported to area hospitals. Monday's numbers have not been released.

"Were looking at about 10 to 12 that we would haul on an average day, so the four was actually down from what we would normally do," said Matt Simpson, deputy chief of EMS with the St. Paul Fire Department. "And I was actually surprised there were that few transports."

Simpson believes people are heeding advice, staying hydrated, sitting in the shade and standing in front of misting machines.

R. J. Frascone, with Regions Hospital, is the medical director for the medical aid stations at the fair.

"They just have to listen to their bodies," he said. "When they feel tired, rest. When they feel thirsty, drink and also (get) a little pre-hydration before they come out here."

St. Paul Fire EMS can get to patients quickly on the fairgrounds in golf carts and they've added a third ambulance to respond to emergencies if needed. 

Signs you may have heat exhaustion include a fast, weak pulse, clammy skin, nausea, weakness and heavy sweating. Anyone feeling those symptoms should get water and into cool air right away.

Simpson said when a person stops sweating, it could be a sign of a heat stroke, and medical attention is required immediately.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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