Menu
News

Heatwaves a sign of high health risks: Prof

Cousins Latrell Devlin, 5, and Mia Kasper, 3, keep cool in an old bathtub.
Cousins Latrell Devlin, 5, and Mia Kasper, 3, keep cool in an old bathtub. Claudia Baxter

AMBULANCE officers can expect more call-outs to people with cardiovascular, respiratory and other chronic conditions in sweltering temperatures, says public health researcher Professor Shilu Tong.

"Every degree in temperature above 22 degrees brings a 1.2 percent rise in ambulance call-outs for people with underlying conditions," Professor Tong, from the Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said.

Pregnant women are also at a higher risk of pre-term or stillborn births as the temperature rise, says Associate Professor Adrian Barnett, also from IHBI.

Prof Barnett said some people who were already sick in Brisbane could die in the next few days from the effects of the excessive heat.

"Heatwaves together with power cuts are very serious, not just for sick people.

"We had better get used to days like this, because climate change is predicted to increase the intensity and frequency of heat waves in Australia."

QUT emergency medicine expert Prof Gerard Fitzgerald was Queensland's Chief Health Officer in 2004 when a Brisbane heatwave claimed more than 80 lives.

"The best advice is to keep drinking fluids," he said.

"Drink lots of water and monitor your urine. If it's dark, drink more because it should be clear.

"It's also important to keep your electrolytes up. Drink energy drinks or water mixed with electrolyte powder or tablets. This is especially important for the elderly and other people in high-risk health groups."

 

Tips for coping with the heat

  • Check that the elderly are keeping hydrated and cool
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Dress lightly
  • Be active in the early morning and late evening, and stay inside during the middle of the day
  • Take cold showers
  • Use wet washers to cool your body

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  health heat lifestyle summer weather


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Gallery hums with two new exhibitions

SHOW STOPPER: Hobie Porter at the opening of Unnatural History: The Tower Hill Project at The Lismore Regional Gallery.

Regional Gallery hums with two new exhibitions

Chicks With Attitude - the true meaning behind the CWA

BAKE READY: Alison (centre) on the new branch of Lismore's CWA outside the tea rooms at Spinks Park.

Meet the CWA chicks who serve crackerjack scones

Um... can you just not?

CANDID: Barnaby Joyce caught eyeing off former staffer and current partner Vikki Campion back at a summit in 2016.

When you doing something you think you shouldn't, can you just not?

Local Partners