Extreme Heat & Air Quality Alert
Health Advisory

– Please distribute widely –

Heat wave throughout New England

High heat and humidity for three days or more make for hazardous conditions, especially when experienced by people who are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat syncope, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and result from the body’s failure to thermoregulate and maintain normal core body temperature.

Getting susceptible people to air-conditioned space is the single most important strategy to prevent heat illness. Those who are especially susceptible include the young, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic or serious health conditions.

Air quality alert for Greater Burlington area

Today an air quality alert has also been issued by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation for the greater Burlington area. This is because ozone pollution concentrations are expected to be unhealthy for sensitive populations. Particle pollution is expected to reach the moderate range as well. People with lung disease such as asthma, children and older adults, and people who are active outdoors should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, and stay tuned to weather and air quality alerts.

During a heat wave, health care providers should:

Risk factors for heat-related illness and death:

Some signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

Drugs that impair response to heat:

Drug and Drug Effect:  

Impaired sweating                                       

Hypovolemia                                                   

Impaired cardiovascular responsiveness           

Increased metabolic rate                                  

Impaired consciousness                                   

Source: The Merck Manual of Geriatrics, 3rd Edition, edited by Mark H. Beers, and Robert Berkow. Copyright 2000 by Merck & Col, Inc., Whitehouse Station. www.merck.com/mkgr/mmg/tables/67t1.isp

Treatment for heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Basic treatment for heat-related illnesses:

Heat stroke is a medical emergency and patients require hospitalization.

Prevention Measures

Health care providers should advise patients to:

Call a doctor if they or someone else experiences early signs of heat-related illness.

Call 9-1-1 if they or someone else experiences signs of heat stroke.

Resources:

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