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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yale-New Haven emergency department warns against dangerous heat this weekend

A press release from Yale-New Haven Hospital:

Doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital emergency department are cautioning Connecticut residents against dangerously high temperatures that are forecast over the next three days. With temperatures forecast for the mid to high 90s through early next week, coupled with high levels of humidity, the heat index could easily make normally routine outdoor activities extremely stressful, especially for those most susceptible to extreme temperatures.

"We are cautioning residents of Connecticut to be very mindful of how quickly your body can shut down in the event of heat exhaustion," said Gail D'Onofrio, YNHH chief, emergency medicine. "The eldery and small children are the most vulnerable to warm weather problems. The prolonged high heat and humidity this weekend could translate to more and more people coming to the emergency departments."

"Its important for people to try and schedule their outdoor, high-stress activities before 10 a.m., or after 3 p.m. in order to reduce the likelihood of problems," said Dr. D'Onofrio. "If you must work outside during these hours, take frequent breaks in a cool, shaded place, drink generous amounts of sports-related drinks that replace essential vitamins, nutrients and electrolytes, refrain from alcoholic beverages, and wear cool, light, loose-fitting clothing. Most heat-related problems are avoidable and occur when people don't use common sense.

During 1979-1999, the most recent years for which national data are available, 8,015 deaths in the United States were heat-related. An average of 182 deaths per year were associated with excessive heat resulting from weather conditions.

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