BAE: 2 workers with heat-related illness released from hospital

(WAVY Photo)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two BAE Systems workers who were taken to the hospital with heat-related illness are being released, a company spokesperson confirms.

BAE spokesperson, Karl Johnson, says an employee walked out of the work area to get help. A contract worker was evacuated from the work area.

Johnson tells 10 On Your Side both workers were conscious. They were released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and were expected back at work Thursday.

A spokesperson for Sentara Healthcare says Sentara hospitals in the area have seen a handful of emergency rooms with heat-related illnesses. Most of the patients were beachgoers and outdoor workers.

Johnson also said the shipyard is sensitive to the dangers of the summer heat.

Digital signs throughout the yard remind workers to hydrate. The company also provides workers with camel packs (backpacks filled with water.)

10 On Your Side learned that there are no special shifts or early release times on hot days. Johnson says the work has to get done.

Workers WAVY News spoke to said they prepare as best they can.

“Drink a lot of water, got sleep, got Gatorade,” Edward Davis told

The next few days are forecast to be just as hot, so if you feel heat cramps, get confused, feel nauseated or like you’re going to pass out, keep in mind these tips from Dr. Jolson Tharakan, Bon Secours Grassfield Medical Associates:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your doctor how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library — even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on: Infants and young children, People aged 65 or older, People who have a mental illness. Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure. Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and by putting on a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher

If you have symptoms of heat cramps or heat exhaustion, you should cool your body down right away to avoid getting heat stroke.

To cool your body down, you can:

  • Spray yourself with cool water and then sit in front of a fan.
  • Move into the shade, or go into an air-conditioned building or car.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Drink water or a sports drink. Do NOT have a drink with alcohol or caffeine.
  • Take off any extra clothing you are wearing.
  • Put a cold pack or cool cloth on your neck or armpit.

People with heat stroke have:

  • A body temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher
  • Brain symptoms – These can include:
  • Confusion or trouble thinking clearly
  • Seeing or hearing things that aren’t real (called “hallucinating”)
  • Trouble walking
  • Seizures
  • Passing out

Heat stroke can also cause:

  • Fast breathing or a fast heartbeat
  • Skin redness and warmth
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Headaches

Seek immediate medical attention for any of the above symptoms.

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