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August 13, 2002
Heat affects your health - and help is available
  
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - Today is Toronto's third
consecutive heat alert day. At-risk persons are experiencing heat-related
symptoms and specially-trained Toronto EMS paramedics are available to help
them.

"People who are elderly, very young, have chronic health conditions or who are
taking certain prescription medications, are at risk of developing serious
heat-related health complications," said Dean Shaddock, Coordinator, Toronto
EMS Community Medicine Program. "Many people experience adverse health effects
when prolonged periods of excessive heat occur. Even healthy people can
experience mild symptoms, so everyone should look after themselves and check to
see how their vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours are doing," added
Shaddock.

People who need help dealing with the heat should know that help is available
from Toronto EMS paramedics. Call the Red Cross' Heat Information Line at
416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. You will need to answer some simple
questions to determine what type of assistance you require. When necessary, a
Toronto EMS Community Medicine Team will visit your home. A paramedic will
perform a medical assessment, an environmental assessment of your home and will
provide concrete instructions on how to cope with the heat. People experiencing
significant health problems will be taken to hospital for care.

Citizens are encouraged to check on relatives, friends or neighbours who are
'at-risk'. If they are concerned about someone, they should contact the Heat
Information Line at 416-480-2615. They should also let the at-risk person know
that paramedics are on the way.

Anyone experiencing serious symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing,
dizziness, confusion or who feels like fainting, should call 911 for immediate
assistance.


Media Contact
Dean Shaddock,
Toronto EMS,
416-370-9866

 

 

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