Preventing dehydration in Chattanooga homeless population

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 7/23 6:55 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - During the dog days of summer, homeless people have a greater risk of becoming severely dehydrated so  the Chattanooga Salvation Army is doing something to prevent it.

With heat indexes making temperatures feel like  90 degrees and above, water consumption becomes even more important, especially for the homeless.

"The last thing we want is for them to be sick or hospitalized due to dehydration." said Chattanooga Salvation Army Marketing Director Kimberly George.

On Tuesday, Chattanooga Salvation Army Volunteers loaded  cases upon cases of bottled water into a van. The cases were donated by the Coca Cola Bottling Company.

"Now we're going to go to our own emergency kitchen unit and take water to the homeless," George said.

Volunteers are expected to take to the streets on Thursday to give away the water to any homeless person who is need of re-hydrating.

The Salvation Army believes many homeless people are spending countless hours in the heat while loosing hydration and not replenishing enough water.
 
"They can get dehydrated easily especially if there're in areas with adequate air conditioning or fans and stuff like that," said Doctor Eugene Ryan at Parkridge Health Systems

Dehydration has been a problem for many people this summer. So far, the Parkridge Hospital Emergency room has treated more than 80 patients.

Dr. Ryan said knowing the signs and symptoms of dehydration can be a matter of life and death.

"You start getting a little sluggish and lethargic.You lose your appetite and get real tired and thing like that."

The end results of dehydration can vary.

"It can cause seizures, hearth arrhythmia and death," said the doctor.

Medical experts say adults should consume between 11 and 16 cups of water a day to stay hydrated. Nine to 14 cups per day are recommended for children.



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