60-year-old man dies from heat stroke as summer takes hold in Fort Worth neighborhoods

A 60-year-old man has died from heat stroke, making him Tarrant County’s first victim of the hot summer temperatures in North Texas this year, according to authorities.

The man was identified as Jay K. Jackson, who died Wednesday afternoon at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office website on Monday.

Jackson, whose hometown was not listed on the website, was found in the 2900 block of E. Lancasater Ave., and was pronounced dead at 2:32 p.m. Wednesday. He died from heat stroke and his death was ruled an accident.

Heat stroke occurs when the body suffers from long, intense exposure to heat and loses its ability to cool itself. Some of the most common signs of heatstroke include confusion, vomiting, alteration in sweating, hot and flushed skin, rapid heart rate, decreased sweating, shortness of breath, decreased urination, increased body temperature (104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit), or potentially, even convulsions, according to MedStar.

The high temperature on Wednesday was 95, and the heat index value reached 103 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

North Texans will get a break this week as chances of showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast until this weekend. And, that means cooler temperatures as the high for Monday will be 85.

But sizzling summer temperatures are just days away.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know starts experiencing any of the symptoms above, immediately call 911.

Residents also could suffer from heat exhaustion, which occurs when the body loses large amounts of water and salt through excessive sweating, particularly through hard physical labor or exercise. This loss of essential fluids can disturb circulation and interfere with brain function. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include muscle cramps, paleness, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible

MedStar implemented an extreme weather response procedure Thursday afternoon when the heat index was at or above 105 degrees.

Under this procedure, MedStar upgrades the priority of the response for patients located outside in an unprotected area to limit the patient and responders from exposure to extreme heat.

On Friday and Saturday, MedStar crews treated 13 patients with primary heat-related illnesses. Of those, nine were taken to hospitals as two were in serious condition and two others were in critical condition.

Some MedStar tips to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion include:

Hydrate: Drink plenty of water during the day, especially if you are engaged in any strenuous activity. Sports drinks are a good choice if you’re exercising or working in hot conditions, but water is a good way to hydrate as well.

Ventilate: Stay in a place where there is plenty of air circulating to keep your body cool. If you are indoors and don’t have access to air conditioning, open windows and use a fan.

Cover up: Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing to avoid absorbing the sun’s light and trapping heat. Wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun, but once you feel yourself getting warm, remove any items covering your head which can trap heat close to your body.

Limit activity: Heat stroke can occur in less than an hour when you are participating in strenuous activity during a hot day. If you feel yourself getting hot or light-headed, stop your activity and rest in a cool place out of the sun. Be sure to drink water or a sports drink before, during, and after any strenuous activity.

Check on loved ones: The elderly are especially vulnerable to heat-related emergencies. Many elderly residents are not aware of how hot it may get in their residence. Call on older friends and family members regularly to assure they are doing OK.