24.9°C 03:00 pm

DANGER ZONE

Thursday, 16th January, 2014

Twelve year old Saxon Luke, from Rob Day Station cools down in an old bath near the horse stables on the property. Twelve year old Saxon Luke, from Rob Day Station cools down in an old bath near the horse stables on the property.

By Emily Roberts

Locals are being treated for heat-related illnesses, as the heat wave continues to scorch the city.

An 82-year-old man was treated and admitted to the hospital on Monday for a medical condition exacerbated by the hot conditions.

He was transferred to Royal Adelaide Hospital for further treatment.

A 76-year-old man was treated in the Emergency Department yesterday for a heat-related condition and later discharged.

Broken Hill Health Service General Manager, Nigel Carlton reminded residents that the extreme heat could exacerbate existing medical conditions.

“Simple precautions that can help minimise the risk of heat distress for people that do not have air conditioning include spending time in an air conditioned environment during the peak heat period of the day.

“The Broken Hill Hospital is a public space and if people want to get out of the heat, they are welcome to come into the foyer.

“This is available during normal hospital operating hours.”

Mr Carlton said it was an opportunity to get away from the high temperature points during the day.

“We also have information available there about how to stay hydrated,” he said.

“Since Monday, staff have noticed a number of people sitting in the foyer for extended periods of time, but we cannot confirm if they are simply seeking respite from the heat or there for health-related matters.”

Local nursing homes are taking extra precautions to ensure their residents are cool.

A spokeswoman from Aruma Lodge said the residents were keeping up their fluids with cool drinks and ice blocks.

“It is beautiful and cool in the building, we also have a policy where we don’t take residents out if the temperature is over 30 degrees,” she said.

Southern Cross Care are also taking the same measures with their three nursing homes.

“The residents are coping very well, our temperature control is very good,” said a spokeswoman.

“We make sure to follow procedure in the hot weather. We have lots of indoor activities to keep the residents busy.”

It’s not only Broken Hill that is suffering the heat wave, but most of southeast Australia.

The mercury was above 40 degrees at lunchtime in Melbourne and Adelaide, while Tasmanians are also sweating through unseasonably warm weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has warned not to expect a cool change until Saturday.

Large parts of the state are suffering extreme heat, with the town of Deniliquin, in the Riverina, tipped to record a number of 44 degree days.

BoM put the heat wave blanketing the country’s southeast down to a “very slow moving, high-pressure system sitting in the Tasman sea”.

 “It’s been directing steady northerly streams for a number of days now, so it’s been building a lot of heat in the interior of the continent,” a BoM forecaster said.

Tips during a heatwave:

  • Look after yourself and keep in touch with others
  • Drink plenty of water without waiting for thirst (if your doctor normally limits your fluids, check how much to drink during hot weather) 
  • Keep cool - stay indoors or in an air-conditioned environment
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Reduce normal activity levels
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