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Ambulance Service offers Heatwave Advice

29 June 2015

Members of the public are being urged to take extra care as weather forecasters indicate hot weather is on its way over the next few days. 

During periods of high temperatures, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust usually sees a noticeable increase in ailments brought on by the warmer weather such as breathing difficulties, fainting and unconsciousness.

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations at the Trust and an A&E Doctor, said: “When temperatures rise, we tend to see an increase in calls for ambulance assistance.  With a heatwave forecast for the rest of this week I would like to offer a few words of advice which may help prevent people in Yorkshire becoming victims of the sunshine: 

  • Remember, some people are more at risk from the heat than others - for example, older people, babies and young children, and people with any pre-existing medical problems that can affect their breathing.
  • Try to keep as cool as possible - wear a hat when sitting or working outside and use plenty of sun cream.
  • If possible, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (between 11am - 3pm) and if you have to go out, try to stay in the shade.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking alcohol in the sun.
  • Contact your doctor, pharmacist or NHS 111 if you are worried about your health. In an emergency, dial 999 for ambulance assistance.

David said: “We know that this advice is common sense but, by reminding everyone, we hope it will help reduce the number of people who suffer any ill-effects from the hot weather. 

“Our staff will be working hard to get to patients who require an emergency medical response as quickly as possible but ask that people only call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when it is obvious that someone has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury.”

The Trust would also like to urge people to take extra care in and around open water during the warm weather. Traditionally when the temperature rises the service is called to incidents where people have required emergency medical attention after swimming in rivers, reservoirs and other waterways.

David continued: “The region’s many waterways are popular places for people during the summer months, which can make them dangerous places for those who take risks. Ambulance service call-outs to open water rescues tend to go up during the summer as people attempt to cool off and then get into difficulty.

“It may be very appealing to jump into the water to cool off on a warm summer’s day but people need to be aware of how dangerous it really is. Water can look calm on the surface but contain unseen debris and, rivers in particular, can have treacherous undercurrents. In addition, the temperature of deep water is much colder than people would expect it to be and, even on a hot summer’s day, rarely gets above freezing.

“Every year lives are tragically lost across the UK and we don’t want to see anyone hurt or injured so the message is simple; enjoy the summer, stay out of open water and stay safe!”

For further advice on looking after your health during the hot weather, please visit the following websites.
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/
429593/Heatwave_-_Looking_after_yourself.pdf

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department