Local doctor raises awareness on occupational heat related illnesses

Local doctor raises awareness on occupational heat related illnesses


Living in the Desert Southwest can be dangerous this time of year when you’re working outside
outdoor operations conducted in hot weather and direct sun, such as farm work, fire fighters, construction, oil and gas well operations, just to name a few can increase the risk of heat-related illness in exposed workers.

Mike Erfert, Public Information Officer with the Yuma Fire Department, said “You see a lot of businesses and outdoor kind of companies you see will do is that as soon as its light enough to work you’ll see the workers out there and that’s because its the best time.”

Every year thousands of people seek medical attention due to the heat and in Yuma around 10-15 patients are treated every week because of a heat related illness.

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Emergency Doctor, Matthew Nickson with Yuma Regional Medical Center said, “Even deaths we see several a summer every year… “Oh wow” it’s very scary.”

Doctor Dickson says one of the groups that actually helps the hospitals the most is Border Patrol.

Doctor Dickson said, “Unfortunately some of the people coming across the border they don’t realize how hot it is and how far it is. The Border Patrol are actually very good at finding some of these people in life threatening situations and they’ll bring them to us and we can resuscitate them and save their lives.”


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