INDIANAPOLIS — As excessive heat warnings continue to scorch central Indiana, area hospitals have been impacted by people coming in with heat-related issues.

Hospitals have seen an overall increase of heat-related issues this week, as the majority of central Indiana continues to be under excessive heat warnings through 8 p.m. Friday. “Dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 116” are expected.

Officials with the Community Health Network report that 12 visits have been reported across the network for some kind of heat-related issue this week. This compares to last week, where one visit on a heat-related issue was reported.

Eskenazi Health/Indianapolis EMS officials said on Thursday, they responded to eight patients who met their criteria for “a heat-related emergency.” Officials went on to say that eight patients is “significantly above average for August.”

“On average, we respond to one call per day where the patient has a primary or secondary impression of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration or sunburn,” a statement from Eskenazi Health/Indianapolis EMS said. “We expect 0 – 7 for a typical day based upon 2022 data.”

Officials with IU Health reported an increase of 5% in the overall volume of heat-related illnesses.

According to the National Weather Service, officials reported that extreme heat and humidity are expected to “significantly increase” the potential for heat-related illnesses. Officials encourage individuals who need to be outside to drink plenty of fluids and wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments,” the National Weather Service said in its excessive heat warning. “Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location.”