With the forecast for the week predicted to be 100 degrees and above for many regions of Oregon, Douglas County Public Health is reminding people to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.
Oregon Health Authority has been implementing “ESSENSE” a new health surveillance system in hospital emergency rooms. This system collects data on hospital emergency room admissions. After the last high heat wave in June and early July, ESSENSE data was used to see the impact of heat related illness and drowning cases that ended up in hospitals in Oregon.
Drowning increased two to three times compared to normal historical numbers. The number of men and women going to the emergency rooms increased as they became affected by heat. The report showed that the number of men reporting to the emergency rooms increased by 45% to 55% indicating that they were being affected more by the heat. As a result of the new ESSENSE report, Douglas County Public Health wants to emphasize that high temperatures can have serious affects on the health of the community.
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and claiming more lives than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. The most vulnerable individuals are those who work or exercise outdoors, adults over 65, infants and children under 4, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.
Take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: