ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Local emergency rooms are bracing for more patients as blistering heat descends on the St. Louis area for the remainder of this week.

Director of Emergency Services at SLU hospital, Helen Sandkuhl, says it’s not just the young and elderly who are at risk when the mercury tops triple digits.

“People that are homeless or that maybe have mental or physical illnesses, are going to be at greater risk,” Sandkuhl says.

The National Weather service reports excessive heat from Tuesday through Saturday. There will be temps in the 100’s and heat index values of 105 to 113 degrees.

Sandkuhl says not only are local emergency rooms getting ready for the influx of heat-related cases, but they are also making sure EMT’s, firefighters and other first responders are properly hydrated.

“We’re going to make sure that we have additional fluids available,” Sandkuhl says. “That we have cooling items such as fans and cold compresses.”

She says to stay hydrated throughout the heat of the day, and don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water or some other non-alcoholic beverage.

Sandkuhl also warns that sugary drinks like soda can actually cause you to lose more body fluid.

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