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Doctors issue heatwave health warning

13 January 2014

As Victoria enters a week of extreme heat, AMA Victoria warns all Victorians to be mindful of the heat and seek medical attention if unwell.

“Hospital admissions increase during extreme heat, with the elderly and young children more prone to heat stroke and fluid loss, AMA Victoria President, Dr Stephen Parnis, said today.

“When the body cannot cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature, many people experience dizziness, fainting, exhaustion, heat stroke and a worsening of existing medical conditions, Dr Parnis said.

“This weather can be extremely dangerous, and during the next few days it is important to check in with elderly parents or neighbours, especially those that live by themselves, as they may be in distress.

“The signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses include: confusion, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.

“We remind all drivers not to leave children unattended in a car, even with the windows down. This is a criminal offence in Victoria as it can have fatal consequences. The temperature inside a parked car can be as much as 20° to 30° higher than the outside temperature.

“If you have to venture out into the sun, you should wear a hat and long-sleeve clothing, sunscreen is a must, always carry a drink bottle and avoid strenuous exercise, Dr Parnis said.

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Media contact
Felicity Ryan
Media & Public Affairs Officer
Australian Medical Association Victoria
Telephone: (03) 9280 8753
Mobile: 0437 450 506
Email: felicityr@amavic.com.au


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