ER visits were 69 times higher than average during the record-breaking heatwave in the Pacific Northwest
A heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest in late June caused a spike in heat-related emergency room visits, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From June 25 to 30, states including Oregon and Washington experienced an extreme heat wave with temperatures reaching 116F.
The heat was so severe that roads in the state even started to get wet belt buckle under the intense temperature.
For the month of June, there were 3,060 heat-related hospital visits in the region in 2021, compared to just 420 in the same month in 2019.
During the heat wave, emergency room visits with heat-related illnesses rose to 69 times the normal number, and full-month visits were seven times a typical June in the region.
Heat-related hospital admissions rose 69 times in a record heatwave that hit the Pacific Northwest last month
The heat wave in late June was responsible for about 400 deaths in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia
For the report, published Friday, CDC analyzed data from emergency departments in “Region 10,” a geographically designated region in the northwestern US.
The region includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and six other states.
The agency’s researchers compared hospital data from May and June 2021 with May and June 2019.
They didn’t take advantage as the COVID-19 pandemic unnaturally depressed numbers, with many people avoiding hospitals for fear of contracting the virus.
This year, there were 3,504 heat-related emergency room visits in those two months, with nearly 80 percent (2,779) in the six days when the heat was worst.
June 28 was the worst day, with 1,090 heat-related visits on that day. On the same day in 2019, there were only nine visits.
In June 2020, there were an average of 102 emergency room visits per day, nine times the average of 14 per day in June 2019.
From June 25 to June 30, the six days with the worst heat wave, there were 424 visits per day – 69 times the average per day in 2019.
The heat wave was responsible for almost 200 American deaths, with 116 in Oregon and 78 in Washington.
The CDC reports that there are an average of 700 heat-related deaths in the US each year, meaning the two states alone accounted for more than a quarter of that total in just one week.
On the other side of the border, 230 dead were recorded from the heat wave in British Columbia, Canada.
The elderly are especially vulnerable to high temperatures. Pictured: An elderly man gets help from firefighters in Spokane, Washington, as he struggled with the high temperatures
Euupe and Siberia also experienced high temperatures during a heat wave in late June
The elderly, the young, those with high blood pressure or a condition such as asthma that can affect a person’s ability to breathe are especially vulnerable to high temperatures.
The heat wave was also felt in the southwest of the country and at the same time Europe and Siberia were hit by high heat.
Scientists fear that events like what happened in late June will only become more frequent and worse over time.
Heat waves are already here five times more likely now than they would be without the effects of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s environment.
As time goes by and climate change worsens, the situation will only get worse.
A person’s body is significantly vulnerable to heat exhaustion or heat stroke at temperatures above 105F, reported health line.