DHMH Announces First Heat Deaths of the Season

BALTIMORE, MD (June 25, 2014) – The first heat-related deaths of the 2014 season have occurred, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) announced. Both people who died were adults over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions. One was a female in Harford County and the other a male in Baltimore County. Both deaths occurred during the week of June 17 to June 23.

In 2013, there were 17 confirmed heat-related deaths from May through September in Maryland. In 2012, there were 46 confirmed heat-related deaths during that time period, with 34 in 2011 and 32 in 2010.

For weekly reports that provide guidance and information about heat-related deaths and illness, visit www.dhmh.maryland.gov/extremeheat. The site also includes the State Heat Plan, facts about heat-related illnesses and hot weather tips.
Marylanders in need of a cooling center should contact their local health department or visit the DHMH heat emergency website at www.dhmh.maryland.gov/extremeheat.

Maryland residents in need of energy assistance to keep cool this summer should call 2-1-1 Maryland to see if there are resources available to help.

 

 

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
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