Daytime ER visits jump due to sweltering temperatures

Emergency room workers in California are noticing different trends in heat-related hospital trips as temperatures surpass 100 degrees, according to The Bakersfield Californian.

"The (emergency department) staff this week alone had noticed a huge swing in our volume and they've noticed a lot more heat-related complaints," said Jenny Wilson, RN, director of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital ER in the article.

Wilson said the ER department of the 426-bed regional medical center is usually busy from 7 p.m. to midnight--but this summer, the busy hours have shifted to 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

"We're having a lot more homeless people that are being brought in that have severe sunburns, that are dehydrated," Wilson said.

The elderly are especially susceptible to the heat but researchers note that EDs can actually negatively affect older patients whose complex conditions worsen after their visits, according to a study published in the June 25 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine. The study suggests that hospitals should tailor EDs to the medical needs of elderly patients.

To learn more:
- read the Bakersfield Californian article

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