As NSW summer heatwaves draw near, NSW Health has issued a warning as extreme heatwaves led to more than 10 per cent increase in deaths and ambulance callouts.
According to a long-term study by NSW Health, extreme heatwaves have been associated with 10.8 per cent increase in deaths, 3.4 per cent increase in hospitalisations, and 10.9 per cent increase in ambulance call-outs.
NSW Health’s Director of Environmental Health, Dr Ben Scalley, said the start of summer is crucial for people to take heatwaves seriously.
“Prolonged periods of very hot weather can be dangerous because hot weather can overheat the human body, leading to a range of serious illnesses,” Dr Scalley said.
“Certain groups of people are particularly vulnerable, including older people, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and those who live alone.”
Dr Scalley added that it is important for people to stay in regular contact with elderly neighbours, friends and relatives.
The results were supported with the study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, as health effects of heat events from 2005-2015 were observed for people’s impact on mortality, hospitalisations and ambulance call-outs.
The increases were across metropolitan, regional, and rural areas in NSW.
Simple precautions such as drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol, staying out of the sun, keeping windows closed, wearing light and loose clothing, and wearing a hat are encouraged to follow.
Research on the extreme climatic conditions is available here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00484-017-1313-5
Eunji Cho firstname.lastname@example.org
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