Heatwave sees surge in A&E admissions

CHRIS BISHOP People living in East Anglia could adopt the Mediterranean lifestyle of working in the cooler hours of the morning and afternoon, with a midday siesta in between. That was the view of one of the region's leading hospital consultants, as A&E staff were themselves suffering heat exhaustion, as they grappled to cope with a surge in admissions.

CHRIS BISHOP

People living in East Anglia could adopt the Mediterranean lifestyle of working in the cooler hours of the morning and afternoon, with a midday siesta in between.

That was the view of one of the region's leading hospital consultants, as A&E staff were themselves suffering heat exhaustion, as they grappled to cope with a surge in admissions.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital saw a flood of people admitted suffering sunburn, dizziness, lethargy, insect bites, asthma and general respiratory problems.

A&E consultant Robert Florance said: “If hot weather is going to become the general pattern in summer we may have to think and act more like Continentals, and where possible take a rest in the hottest part of the day and become active again during the cool of the evening.

“They take it easy in the middle of the day to reduce the body's dehydration.

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“In Mediterranean countries people have shutters to keep the sun out during the day and in the evening they open them and their doors and windows to let the cool air in.”

Dr Florance said the heatwave had caused an upsurge in minor injuries, caused by hot and lethargic people not concentrating properly on what ever they're doing, having accidents as a result.

“In the last couple of weeks we've seen an increase in work,” he added. “Particularly elderly people with heart and respiratory problems.

“Older people don't always notice when they're thirsty, like younger people do, so there's a greater risk of their becoming dehydrated.”

Staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney reported a normal day with a few people brought in feeling unwell but not necessarily down to the weather.

t The all-time record British temperature for July was broken when thermometers hit 36.3C (97.3F) at Charlwood in Surrey.

Forecasters at PA Weathercentre said the temperature was recorded just after 2.30pm at a weather station near Gatwick Airport.

The previous record of 36C (96.8F) was set at Epsom, Surrey, on July 22, 1911, while 35.9C (96.6F) was recorded at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on July 3, 1976.

But while East Anglia also basked in glorious sunshine, the wind kept the temperature between 26C and 32C in Norfolk, according to forecasters at WeatherQuest, based at UEA.

Martham registered 31C but Norwich International Airport only topped 26C. At Wattisham in Suffolk a temperature of 31C was recorded while Bedford made it to 35C, making it one of the hottest places in the country.