Bendigo Health has urged community members to take care during the hot weather after its emergency department treated a high number of people for heat related illness on Tuesday.
A Bendigo Health spokesperson said the emergency department has seen an above average number of people, many with heat related illness.
The warning comes as the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a top of 43 degrees for Friday, and 38 for Thursday.
A Bendigo Health spokesperson said the emergency department saw 161 people present on Tuesday, with more than normal suffering from heat related illness.
“Some of the heat related presentations could have been avoided,” the spokesperson said.
“With the current hot weather and more to come over the coming days Bendigo Health is encouraging people to look after themselves and avoid a trip to the emergency department.”
Bendigo Health has urged people to avoid staying outside during the hottest part of the day, and put off non urgent activities like gardening or bike riding until the weather is cooler.
People are also at an increased risk of falls during the hot weather, especially the elderly.
The spokesperson urged central Victorians to drink plenty of water, and find a cool spot near a fan or an air conditioner.
Bendigo Community Health Service has also urged the community to have a heat health action plan.
Heat can cause heat cramps and heat exhaustion, which can both lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition.
Muscle pains, spasms, pale complexion, sweating, a rapid heart rate, muscle cramps or weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and fainting are all symptoms of heat cramps and heat exhaustion.
Life-threatening heatstroke has similar symptoms, but sweating stops. Those suffering heatstroke may also be confused, have seizures, suffer stroke like symptoms, or collapse.
Community members should drink water, seek out air conditioned buildings, plan activities for the coolest part of the day, and never leave children, adults or pets in a hot car.
People should also check on those most at risk of heat related illness.
Those aged over 65, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, babies and young children, those who are overweight or obese ad people with a disability are all more likely to suffer from heat-related illness.
People with diabetes, kidney disease or a mental illness, and those taking medication that can affect the way the body reacts to heat are also at risk.
In an emergency contact Triple Zero (000).
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