Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two likely heat related deaths in Clearwater County

By Alannah Allbrett

When one thinks of deadly heat waves Arizona, Chicago, or a tenement in New York City might come to mind. According to Clearwater County Coroner, Will Rambeau, there were two deaths in the county in August that were likely heat related.

Though the hot season has basically passed for our area for this year, there is always next year to consider. People with chronic illnesses and the elderly are particularly at risk.

Rambeau said, “There are people here who try to cool themselves with only a fan, as air-conditioning is not the norm for this area.” He went on to point out that some medications make people more sensitive to sunlight as well.

Preventative steps to take to take to avoid heatstroke or possible death are: (a) Keep well hydrated and drink lots of water. (b) A person with known chronic illnesses should advise their doctor if they do not have air-conditioning. (c) Arrange to spend the hottest part of the day with a family member or even in a public building such as a library to keep body temperatures at a safe level.

“It would be ideal,” said Rambeau, “for a family member or friend, to check on the person regularly.” It’s a matter of life and death.

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