At least 60 Hoosiers have sought medical attention for the recent heat wave Indiana has experienced. That number is double the number of heat-related emergencies officials normally see during the summer.
Those heat-related emergencies included heat, dehydration, hyperthermia and heat exhaustion.
Adding to the concern, the number of heat-related deaths and illnesses tend to peak two days after the hottest day, which came on Thursday. Doctors are also concerned that weekend activities will also put a much bigger group of people at risk.
Despite being in the middle of their season, the Indianapolis Vipers football team isn't holding formal practices this week. That's because coach Gardner Johnson was already a statistic for heat related illness a couple weeks ago.
"Right at half time of the game I started getting black outs," Johnson said. "Everything started going dark. I had to sit down. They eventually took me inside and gave me some Gatorade. It helped but, I had to go home and I was feeling bad for two days."
Though young children and the elderly often receive the most attention during heat waves, public health officials are also trying to spread a safety message to people like coach Johnson and his team.
"Younger people may feel like they're invincible or they're not at as much a risk because they're younger or maybe their perception is that their health is better," said John Althardt with the Marion County Public Health Department.
That perception doesn't appear to be reality. During the first four days of the week there were 11 heat related emergency cases among those who are 65 and above, but there were 26 cases among those between the ages of 18 and 64. That's also more than the number of cases among teens and young children combined.
"What we've found through the data is that that (18-64) age group has really been the majority department paitents," Althardt said.
"The ideal thing is to avoid going to the E.R.," said Dr. Yazid Fadl, a cardiologist for IU Health.
Dr. Fadl says, with the weekend approaching, it's those people who don't think they're at risk who worry him most. He says patients on blood pressure and other medications are among those who really need to cut their exposure to the heat.
"The biggest difference when it comes to the weekend is alcohol and caffeine," Fadl said. "People are out there on the weekends, at the lake drinking alcohol, that's a very bad combination."
"Gatorade and water that's it for me," said coach Johnson.
After his past experience, Johnson says he's learned his lesson. It's something he's passed on to his players and their next opponent too.
"They wanted to play at 2:00 p.m. and I just told them no because that's the same time we played our other game," Johnson said. "I'm not going to play with the heat. I already know what it does. I'm not going to deal with it."
If people do decide to drink alcohol or caffeine while outside in the heat this weekend, Dr. Fadl says just one beer or soda should be followed by four or five bottles of water in order to stay hydrated.
Indianapolis has cooling centers available and Indy Parks facilities open for those needing a cool place to stay during the day and evening. Spray parks and aquatic centers are also open as cooling resources. The Marion County Public Health Department has a call center open for non-emergency heat related questions and concerns. The 221-2415 call center is available from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. After hours messages will be answered the next day.
No heat-related deaths have been confirmed in Indiana, yet.