95-Year-Old Woman is Del.'s 3rd Heat-Related Death

The Department of Health and Social Services said Tuesday that the medical examiner ruled that the death of a 95-year-old New Castle County woman was heat related.

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013  |  Updated 9:03 PM EDT
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3rd Heat-Related Death in Delaware

NBC10.com

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Public health officials say a third heated-related death has been confirmed in Delaware.

The Department of Health and Social Services said Tuesday that the medical examiner ruled that the death of a 95-year-old New Castle County woman was heat related.

Officials say the woman was found dead in her Newark home on Sunday, and that heat exposure was a factor in her death.

An 87-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man also died in Delaware last week partly due to heat exposure.

The Delaware Department of Health and Social services provided the following tips to prevent heat illness:

  • Do not leave a child alone in a parked car, even for a minute. Call 911 if you see a child left unattended in a vehicle.
  • Check in on seniors and individuals with disabilities to make sure they are OK.
  • Carry water with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks containing sugar, alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. (Check with a doctor before increasing fluid intake if you have epilepsy, heart, kidney or liver disease, or if you are on a fluid-restrictive diet. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.)
  • Stay indoors on the lowest floor possible to avoid the heat.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Wear a hat or use an umbrella. Use sunscreen. Sunburn slows the skin's ability to cool itself, and has been linked to skin cancer.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes. A cold shower immediately after coming in from hot temperatures can lead to hypothermia, particularly for the elderly and children.

The following symptoms are signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Clammy Skin
  • Headache
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fast Breathing
  • Irritability
  • Fainting

To prevent heat exhaustion, experts recommend moving indoors or into the shade, loosening or removing clothing, eating and drinking, taking a cool shower or bath and calling your doctor for further medical advice.

The following symptoms are signs of heatstroke(the body can no longer cool itself):

  • Flushed, hot, dry skin with no sweating
  • High body temperatures(above 13 degrees F orally)
  • Severe headache
  • Weakness, dizziness or confusion
  • Sluggishness or fatigue
  • Decreased responsiveness
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or anyone you know exhibit any of these symptoms, call 911, go indoors or in the shade, take a cool shower or bath and take fluids.


 

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