Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-221-2463

Health Officials Update Emergency Department Patient Numbers and Promote Cooling Centers

The Marion County Public Health Department reports one individual has been treated for heat related illness since midnight

Updated figures document 18 heat related patients seeking treatment from area hospitals Friday. No deaths associated with the recent heat wave have been reported.

The total number of patients seen since Monday now stands at 77.

During an average summer day in Indianapolis, area hospitals would typically see six heat related patients in the emergency department. The heat wave has driven that average to nearly 13 patients per day.

Health officials continue to urge those having to be outside to use extreme caution when in direct sunlight and in the excessive heat for any period of time.

"We know there are many activities and events associated with the weekend that our families and individuals want to enjoy. Drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks in a cool environment and be aware of the signs of heat illness for yourself and those around you," said John T. Althardt, spokesman for the Marion County Public Health Department. "Anyone experiencing heat related illness should seek medical assistance immediately," he said.

Cooling centers, malls, libraries and other locations with air conditioning are available throughout the weekend for those needing a break from the heat.

The health department continues to operate its 221-2415 call center from until 7 p.m. tonight and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The call center provides information on local cooling centers, Indy Parks, heat illness information and other non-emergency questions and concerns.

After hours messages will be returned the next day. Since opening Tuesday afternoon, the call center has taken more than 220 calls.

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