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Rising mercury can be a killer

IT was quite evident from the sizzling 40 degree day last week that summer had well and truly arrived in Logan.

But with three more months of scorching hot days, doctors are warning residents to take the risks associated with heat-related illnesses seriously.

Director of Emergency Medicine at Logan Hospital Dr Stuart Young said both heat stress and heat stroke were very serious conditions that could have fatal consequences if left untreated.

"When a person is suffering from heat stress, it often means they are starting to feel very uncomfortable and may be lousy," he said.

"But heat stroke can come on very quickly.

"It is a condition where the body is unable to cope with the ambient temperature and as a result, the person may become very confused and dehydrated.

"It can cause stress on their cardiovascular system as well as cause other various affects on their body.

"But it can be life threatening and some examples of that occurring include young children being left in cars or elderly people who have trouble coping with the heat."

Mr Young said once a patient was admitted to hospital, staff would try to cool the person down by administering fluids, wet towels, ice packs and fans.

But he said there were a few simple measures people could do to help prevent heat stress and heat stroke.

"Heat stroke mainly affects young children, people working in warm temperatures and the elderly," he said.

"People should have plenty of fluids such as water throughout the day and wear appropriate clothing, especially if you do have to work outside."


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