An elderly New Castle County woman died on Friday, marking the second-heat related death of the season in Delaware.
The death of the 87-year-old woman, who lived in the Newport area, was ruled an accident by the Medical Examiner's Office on Sunday. The office also said that heat exposure was a factor in her death.
The woman died two days after a 55-year-old New Castle County man was found unresponsive in an outdoor setting. The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death an accident and say he had an underlying medical condition. They also say heat exposure contributed to his death.
In the midst of the current heat wave, officials with Delaware’s Division of Public Health say it’s important to have an emergency plan.
“There are many scenarios you need to anticipate,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. “Do you have a plan if you lose power? Where can you go to cool down and be safe if you have no air-conditioning or lose power? Do you know how to safely cool yourself or a loved one down if they are suffering from excess heat? Do you know when to call 911?”
The Delaware Department of Health and Social services provided the following tips to prevent heat illness:
The following symptoms are signs of heat exhaustion:
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):
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.