Emergency rooms filling up with heat-related illnesses
Charles Benson reports Video by 620wtmj.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- The oppressive heat is really starting to take its toll. People are pouring into local emergency rooms overcome by the heat.
It's been nonstop for Bell Ambulance.
"We are going through the roof. It's been very busy. The other day we had our biggest day of the year," said Jim Lombardo, co-owner of Bell Ambulance.
Not all calls are heat-related, but two days of 100 degrees are taking its toll.
"They are across the board, laying on the ground, sweating, shortness of breath, we get there and throw the ice packs on them," said Lombardo.
Lombardo tells TODAY'S TMJ4 his 30 crews have responded to 200 calls from midnight to 5 p.m. on Thursday and another 300 calls on Tuesday.
TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson: "You've been through a lot summers in Milwaukee this is a hot one?"
Lombardo: "By far the worst, even worst than in 95. It's been constant now for a period and it's wearing people down."
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the world, according to TODAY'S TMJ4's John Malan.
Wisconsin recorded 154 heat-related deaths in the summer of 1995; 91 were in Milwaukee County according to the Centers for Disease Control. Chicago recorded 465 deaths that same July.
That's why ER doctors aren't taking any chances and they say you shouldn't either.
"If you are feeling sick, feeling like you are going to faint or you have fainted you should come to the ER," said Dr. Jason Tomasello at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center. "You may be significantly dehydrated and you may need an IV fluids."
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office says it has not had any heat-related deaths yet.
But in Rock County an 83-year old woman died due to the heat.