During the month of August 2021, MedStar crews treated 131 patients with a primary clinical impression of a heat-related emergency. 102 were transported to area hospitals, 26 were in serious condition, and 5 were critical.
Compounding the heat issues, air quality/ozone alert action days have resulted in higher response volumes for patients with respiratory-related medical issues by as much as 24%.
This lends credibility to the advice that people with respiratory issues should stay indoors on Air Quality Alert Action Days!
Four groups of people are especially vulnerable to difficulty breathing issues related to air quality and ozone alert days:
- Children and teens
- Anyone 65 and older
- People with existing lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis); and
- People who work or exercise outdoors.
During Ozone and Air Quality Alert Action Days, it’s a good idea to try and stay indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned environment, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Don’t ignore warning signs, if you are outdoors and experience symptoms of difficulty breathing, go indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If the symptoms don’t subside, seek immediate medical attention.