Medical teams help PGA fans beat the heat - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Medical teams help PGA fans beat the heat

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By Eric Egan
eegan@abcnews4.com

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- The biggest battle for the golfers is the infamous wind out on  Kiawah. But for the fans, that wind provided at least a little relief from the heat.

Hundreds of fans this week have already suffered from heat illness and the major runs until Sunday.

Exhaustion and dehydration par for the course out on the Ocean Course. Medical teams have cared for more than 500 people this week, most for heat injuries.

"Yesterday (Thursday) I think was probably the worst day," said Dr. Anc Clarkson with Roper Saint Francis.

Dr. Clarkson says it's extremely easy for spectators to lose track of hydration. With so much going on, from the long walks to the lack of shade, fans may not know it but they're in a fight

"You have too much stuff to do out here and great golf to see and then you have the issue of moving one place to another," said Dr. Clarkson. "People are not as climatized as you want them to be."

Clarkson's crews are mobile, by both foot and cart. When a call comes in the patient is brought to one of three care centers across the course. They can treat three to four patients at a time.

"We pull them into one of our aid stations, we assess them, we have a virtual army of nurses medics and doctors," said Clarkson.

But to assure yourself you won't end up there in the first place, drink up. But not soda or beer, keep the water closest. Clarkson says there's no shortage of water on site, going into the weekend

"Every single patient that I have seen has been dehydrated," Clarkson said. "Not because of a lack of supply, it's because of lack of drinking."

And besides the obvious advice of drinking more water, if you find yourself not feeling too well, just slow down. Plus there are a few tents set up that have the A/C pumping.

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