NEW ORLEANS - It's been three straight days of record-breaking temperatures in our area, a heat wave that shows no sign of loosening its grip. At the airport, the old record of 90 degrees was shattered as the temperature climbed to 95 degrees. In Slidell, a 3-year record fell Wednesday with a high of 94 degrees (the old record was 91 degrees).
Whether you're working in the Quarter or walking along the bayou, there's no denying it, it's hot.
"It definitely is quite hot," said Emma Collin.
"It's hot," said Julia Turkevich. "Stifling, but not sticky yet."
"What's going on in my mind, is just what the rest of summer is going to be like," asked Kevin Johnson.
Typically, this time of year temperatures are in the 80's. However, the last three days, highs have soared into the mid-90's breaking records. Tuesday's high was also hotter than any day in 2017.
"It's just a wall," said Collin. "As soon as you step outside you can feel it in the air. The heat is coming from the streets, the buildings and cars, you can feel it."
Temperatures like these can have serious consequences including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Medical professionals stress people take care of themselves as well as keeping any eye on others.
Dr. James Aiken, with LSU Health Emergency Medicine, says heat can be deadly and that people should know everyone reacts differently to it.
"You can have heat-related illnesses at lower temperatures because it has to do with how we regulate our internal heat."
Once your internal temperature rises, things can go downhill.
"We have cramping, we have the exhaustion where we feel weak, we start vomiting, we start getting confused and we go into a coma very quickly," he said. "Your body can go up to 102, 103, my record is 106 and we had to put the patient on dialysis. My point is, it happens very quickly."
It's best, Aiken adds, to be vigilant: finding shade, taking breaks, wearing light clothes, and drinking water.
"The first thing is avoidance, but if you have to be outside, I would drink at least 2-3 glasses of water every hour or every couple of hours to avoid thirst," he advised. "If you wait until you're thirsty in a climate like this, especially outside, you've waited too long. And be aware of the fact that if you start getting cramps, getting nauseous, get out."
Which is what people seem to be doing.
"Making sure we're well-hydrated, making sure we care for the animals as well," said Joseph.
"Hydration is the thing for me," said Collin. "Six or seven liters in an eight-hour shift."
However, while it's hot, people aren't complaining too much. Because they say the worst is yet to come.
"I remember August is awful, so I'm trying to get the sunshine in before August," said Turkevich.
Aiken adds the elderly, kids, as well as those who take medications for things like diabetes need to be extra careful with hot temperatures. If you're outside, take breaks, use the buddy system keeping an eye out on colleagues and friends and stay away from alcohol.
Symptoms to look out for:
• Excessive sweating
• Cramps, leg pain
Who's at risk:
• Older, younger, obese
• Heart disease, diabetes, mental illness
• Certain medications
• Lack of climate control
• Outdoor sports and work
• Avoid hot humid sunny environment, especially if high risk
• Don't wait to get thirsty before drinking fluids
• Drink plenty 2 to 4 glasses of water (not very cold or with lots of sugar)
• Avoid alcohol
• If outside, take more frequent breaks away from the hot environment
• Wear loose fitting, light colored clothing
• Keep in touch and check on family or neighbors who are older, infirm or with mental illness during times of hot climate
• NEVER leave a child or older person in a car
• Get victim to climate control, shade and ventilation
• Get victim to hospital if confused or unable to stand.
• Immediately: fluids, fans, sponge with cool water, ice to armpit and groin.
• Take to hospital if symptoms do not improve in one hour