East Midlands Ambulance Service has urged people to take take responsibility for keeping themselves well during the hot weather, in a bid to protect its crews.
Advice includes: drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated; staying in the shade or a cool part of the house; taking extra precautions to keep babies and young children cool and hydrated; and checking on elderly or vulnerable neighbours
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David Williams, EMAS deputy director of operations, said: “We need each and every person to take this heat warning seriously and do everything they can to stay well to prevent additional pressure on the NHS.
“We continue to experience immense pressure on our ambulance service and our staff are working phenomenally hard to care for the sickest and most severely injured patients.
“Calling 999 for medical help should be a last resort, after you have tried self-care, your local pharmacy, your GP, NHS111 Online and your local urgent treatment centre.
“If you do need to call 999 for medical help, you will go through several stages of assessment which may include a call back from one of our control room paramedics or nurses, to ensure we are prioritising the patients who need our help first.
“Patients experiencing less serious illnesses or injuries may experience an extended wait for an ambulance, so if you are asked by our 999-control room if you can make your own way to hospital, please do so – either via taxi or asking a friend or family member to drive you.
“This allows us to continue to respond to patients who need our ambulances with highly-skilled clinicians and life-saving equipment on board to provide ongoing treatment on the way to hospital.”
Avoiding heat exhaustion
Drinking plenty of water will help keep you hydrated and avoid unpleasant symptoms such as a headache and cramps. It can also prevent illnesses such as heat exhaustion, which can lead to heatstroke.
Heat exhaustion symptoms
Dizziness and confusion;
Loss of appetite and feeling sick;
Being very thirsty;
Fast breathing or pulse.