The City of El Paso Department of Public Health learned today that four deaths in our area have been attributed to heat-related illnesses.
The victims, three males and one female, range in age from their mid-30’s to their early 80’s and lived in various parts of the city. Three of the deaths were related to heat stroke and one showed heat exposure as a contributing factor.
“This is a heartbreaking scenario considering the fact that most heat-related deaths are preventable,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We need our residents to be proactive in this weather and keep an eye out for those who are most vulnerable.”
The most vulnerable include the elderly and young children. They are the most likely to suffer from heat exhaustion which includes: heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; a fast or weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; and fainting.
They might also experience the more serious symptoms of heat stroke which include: a body temperature above 103°F; hot, red, dry or moist skin; rapid and strong pulse; and possible loss of consciousness.
It is recommended that those suffering from heat exhaustion move to a cooler location; lie down and loosen your clothing; apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible; sip water; and if you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.
Those suffering from heat stroke should: call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency; move the person to a cooler environment; reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath; and do not give fluids.
The Extreme Weather Task Force, a community group made up of representatives from various agencies, also reminds residents that free fans are still available to homes with no air-conditioning. They are encouraged to dial 2-1-1 to see if they qualify. Donations of new fans can also be made at any El Paso Fire station.
The City of El Paso would also like to remind residents that public libraries, recreation centers, and senior centers are good locations for anyone looking to escape the heat.
The mission of the Department of Public Health is to provide research and evaluation, prevention, intervention, and mobilization services to the people of El Paso so they can be healthy, productive, safe, and secure.
For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1.