Monday, July 19, 2021
Heat Wave Impact on Elders
We have all heard about the shockingly high temperatures out west. The full impact is yet to be determined, but it is a life-threatening event. Most Oregon heat wave victims were elderly, had no central AC gave us some data about this tragedy.
A preliminary report by Oregon’s Multnomah County found that a majority of the deaths reported during the record-breaking heat wave that began late last month were elderly men who lived alone and did not have central air conditioning....In Portland, which is in Multnomah County, from June 25 and June 28 the city reached triple-digits, even hitting a high of 116 degrees...The report examined deaths from June 28 through July 9. The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office suspected hyperthermia in 71 deaths during this time. The report examined 54 cases where deaths were formally ruled as hyperthermia....Of those 54 deaths, 81.5 percent were ages 60 and older and 90 percent were white. The preliminary data states that 63 percent were males and 78 percent lived alone.... No one who died had central air. (emphasis added)
With climate change, this isn't the first environmental tragedy, nor will it be the last.