KGH reports A&E attendance increase due to heatwave

Laura Pritchard applies suncream to her three year old son Braiden at Corby Carnival
Laura Pritchard applies suncream to her three year old son Braiden at Corby Carnival

Health chiefs at Kettering General Hospital are urging people to take extra care after seeing an increase in heat-related A&E attendances.

Since the temperatures soared, A&E staff at the hospital have had to treat people suffering from dehydration and even fractures from those who have fallen after passing out in the heat.

Sue Watkinson, chief operating officer, said: “We have seen a slight increase in A&E attendances over the past week since the heatwave began, with on average 15 more people each day than we would usually see at this time of year.

“Many of these cases are as a result of people becoming dehydrated as a result of not drinking enough fluids or a worsening of a chronic condition.

“We have also seen an increase in the number of people coming to hospital with fractures as a result of faintness and dizziness caused by dehydration which has resulted in them falling.

“Given that we know that the heatwave is likely to continue for a number of days we would urge people to follow the advice issued to the public by the Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups.”

Advice issued to the public by NHS Commissioning Groups read: “High temperatures can be especially dangerous for the elderly, very young and people with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

“Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it isn’t treated it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal. If you or anyone else feels unwell, drink water and go somewhere cool to rest. If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, seek medical help by visiting your GP surgery, local pharmacy or by calling 111.

“People with heart problems, breathing difficulties or serious illnesses may find their symptoms become worse in hot weather, so make sure you have enough medicines in stock and take extra care to keep cool.”

Top tips to stay safe during the heatwave:

O Don’t go outside between 11am and 3pm as this is the hottest part of the day

O Spend time in the shade and avoid strenuous activity

O Help others: check up on neighbours, relatives and friends who may be less able to look after themselves (for example, if they have mobility problems)

O Drink water or fruit juice regularly

O Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol, and if you do drink alcohol make sure you have lots of water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well

O Keep rooms cool by using shade or reflective material external to the glass, or if that is not possible, by closing light-coloured curtains (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter)

O Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside and, if it’s safe, open windows at night when the air is cooler