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Portneuf Medical Center raising awareness about heatstrokes

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Summer temperatures have hit record highs in Pocatello, and with that heat comes the threat of a heatstroke. 

Portneuf Medical Center Trauma Medical Director Dr. Drew McRoberts says having a heatstroke can affect your entire body. 

"It will affect your neurologic system and can cause seizures," McRoberts said. "It will also affect your cardiovascular system, which is your heart and your lungs, and can cause them to completely malfunction."

Where we can be most susceptible to the heat is inside our own cars. To help raise awareness, Portneuf Medical Center came up with the idea of a dual temperature monitor display that compares the outdoor temperature to the temperature of a vehicle. 

When plugged in, you'll notice the difference rather quickly. 

"On a warm but cloudy day, there's a huge difference in the outside temperature from the inside temperature of a car, and especially when cars are in direct sunlight in high heat days, the temperature inside a car can rise incredibly up to 120 degrees," McRoberts said.

According to Portneuf Medical Center, there have been 891 deaths in the United States due to vehicular heatstroke since 1998, with the majority of them being young children. 

"They get hotter faster than adults do," McRoberts said. "Their temperature goes up three to five times faster than an adult's temperature does, so they're susceptible to getting heatstroke in a matter of minutes."

To visually show how that heat can affect a child, Portneuf is offering any business or upcoming event the chance to use the device, and there are three action items they hope to get across. 

"Avoid heatstroke, that's the A," McRoberts said. "The C is create reminders, putting stuffed animals in car seats, and then the T is take action. If you see somebody, especially a small child locked in a car, you should call 911."

Local News / Pocatello / Top Stories / Videos
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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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