Ambulance crews deal with 500 heatwave incidents

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

ALMOST 500 ambulances were called out to heat-related incidents last week.

York Hospital said 1,755 people attended A&E, which was more than usual, and about the same amount as a busy winter’s week.

A hospital spokeswoman said: “Patients have presented with signs of heat related conditions such as heat exhaustion and dehydration. A lot of those affected were elderly people and we have seen a number of ‘hot tots’, children suffering febrile convulsions through over heating. We have also seen a significant number of patients with sunburn.”

However, health officials in Selby said 633 people attended the New War Memorial Hospital’s minor injury unit between July 1 and 14, down from 709 during the same period last year.

Wildlife experts have also reported baby hedgehogs and birds suffering from dehydration, and swifts and swallows being orphaned as nests drop from eaves or stable rafters in the area.

Annette Pyrah, from Selby Wildlife Rescue, has recently taken care of a baby hedgehog, nicknamed Sunny, which weighed only 32 grammes when brought in, and two infant hedehogs found abandoned in the sun.

She said: “This extremely hot weather is causing wildlife all kinds of problems. We have admitted many baby birds, such as robins, wrens and finches. These fledglings are just out of the nest but unable to find food.

“Helping wildlife survive is easy. Something as simple as leaving a shallow bowl of water out each evening helps enormously.”

An RSPCA spokesperson urged owners to ensure their animals had a constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water to avoid dehydration, ensure they were not left in direct sunlight, and have access to shade.

To find out more about helping wildlife contact Selby Wildlife Rehabiliation, Low Mill, York Road, Barlby. YO8 5JP or visit the website selbywildlife.co.uk

• The Met office forecast suggests today will see temperatures cooler than this week, reaching highs of about 22 degrees Celsius, with cloud and mist on the coast, with similar temperatures expected into next week.

HOW TO STAY COOL

St John Ambulance has issued advice to help people cope in the heatwave.

Clive James, training development manager at the charity, said: “Extreme heat can be dangerous, particularly for the very young and old, but by being prepared you can spot the early warning signs and potentially be the difference between life and death in an emergency.

“Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most serious problems that can develop when the mercury soars so it’s essential that people can spot the signs, such as headache and dizziness and get them somewhere cool and rehydrated as soon as possible.”

The charity’s advice is to apply sun cream, cover up and stay hydrated.

First aid advice for heat-related illnesses can be found at sja.org.uk

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