KU Hospital chief urges office workers to beware of heat wave

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The University of Kansas Hospital Chief Medical Officer encouraged everyone to take precautions against the current heat wave - including those who work in office buildings.

Lee Norman, senior vice president and chief medical officer, warns that the heat slowly dehydrates people over several days.

"Even folks working in an office can lose fluids slowly over several days in this high heat and not realize it," Norman said on Wednesday. "The warning signs are more subtle. Sometimes people lose their sense of humor as they slowly dehydrate. If a family member or friend seems a little grumpy these days, offer them something to drink."

Norman suggests reaching for a glass of water or a sports drink over carbonated or caffeinated beverages which act as a diuretic, increasing the need to urinate.

"Unless you have heart or kidney conditions which restrict fluid intake, then consistent water consumption is the best prevention against dehydration," Norman said. "Drink enough to require going to the bathroom every three to four hours and watch to make sure your urine is diluted. If it's dark or yellow, you are not drinking enough."

Anyone on antidepressants, antihistamines or heart medications need to take extra care to drink water as well.

Another heat danger: concrete and asphalt. With surfaces 125 degrees or hotter, it only takes a few seconds of contact for feet to acquire first-degree burns.

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