Murray MacGregor – Friday 15th July – 2pm.
With the Met Office issuing a ‘Red Warning’ for extreme heat on Monday and Tuesday, ambulance bosses are urging the public not to ignore it and make sure they don’t end up becoming a patient.
The Trust has already seen a rise in the number of heat related calls to both the 999 and 111 services with calls about sunburn, heat stroke, BBQ burns, dehydration, breathing difficulties and from people enjoying the outdoors who are ill prepared.
It is vital that people do take on board the warning so that preventable situations don’t end up resulting in people needing to access help from the NHS.
Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “Almost everyone enjoys a sunny day, but the difference this time is that temperatures have the potential to reach levels never before seen in the West Midlands.
“Heat can cause some very serious health implications if we don’t treat it with respect, particularly for the very young and elderly, but it can affect people of all ages.
“Dehydration is one of the biggest risks – it happens when you lose more fluid than you take in. We all need to drink enough when it’s hot; water and fruit juices are much better than alcohol, which is a diuretic and will speed up dehydration.
“We already see lots of cases of dehydration in the elderly and the heat will make that worse. Dehydration can lead to breathing problems, confusion, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and may result in patients becoming unsteady on their feet and as a result end up falling which can result in other serious injuries. It can also lead on to heat stroke and a period of being unconscious.
“Dark yellow or strong smelling wee is a good warning sign that you are dehydrated, and you need to act immediately to rehydrate.
“Clearly lots of people want to spend time in our wonderful countryside. If you are going outdoors, please be aware that the sun is at its strongest between 11.00am and 3.00pm. You will need to be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear, preferably a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. More positively we have seen a rise in the number of people using What3Words which is helping us to identify where patients who have got into difficulty, are.
It is important to remember that the temperatures given out are measured in the shade, so can be higher still in direct sunlight. If people are out in the sun with no protection, they can get into difficulty quite quickly. We do have cases where people have called us because they have got sunburnt and in extreme cases actually have really nasty burns, which are not only uncomfortable at the time but can result in long term skin damage with the resultant risk from skin cancer too.
“Our main message is enjoy the weather, but do it safely.”