📩 30/07/2023 10:56
One of the experts of Yuvam World Climate Clinic, which was opened by Yuvam World Association in cooperation with Koç University and Hacettepe University, Climate Clinic Scientific Committee Members Prof. Dr. Levent Kurnaz and Prof. Dr. Mine Durusu Tanrıöver shared that the heat in Turkey is a disaster and ways to avoid heatstroke.
The effects of the climate crisis and the emerging health risks are being experienced more and more day by day. The heat waves, which are considered a disaster in many parts of the world, also affected Turkey. The climate crisis, which is also the basis of extreme heat; It also threatens human health with effects such as floods, forest fires, air pollution, water-borne diseases, vector-borne diseases, food insecurity and nutritional disorders, and mental health problems.
“We had the 17 hottest days in human history in July”
Yuvam World Climate Clinic Scientific Committee Member Prof. Dr. Levent Kurnaz said in his statement, “The 3 days we lived between July 19-17 were the hottest 17 days in the history of humanity. The global highest average temperature of 6 degrees Celsius on July 17,23 was also the highest in at least the last 125 years, possibly the last 3 million years. The reason behind these high temperatures is now undisputedly global warming. The extremely hot weather in the Moroccan-Portugal-Spain-Italy region in the west of the Mediterranean causes temperature records to be broken in this region. This hot weather, which sometimes reaches our country, causes us to be overwhelmed, but what is happening in our country is not so bad compared to what is happening in other parts of the world," he said.
Beware of floods in possible downpours in the Black Sea
Kurnaz stated that although the heat wave in Turkey is not officially considered a disaster, heart and respiratory diseases have increased by 20 percent in Italy due to the heat, and said, “In order to avoid similar problems in our country, the elderly and those with health problems should be taken under special protection before heat waves. In our Black Sea coast, where the heat is not dominant, we should pay attention to floods in case of possible showers.” said.
“Extreme heat is very risky, especially for the elderly and those with chronic diseases”
Yuvam World Climate Clinic Scientific Committee Member Prof. Dr. Mine Durusu Tanrıöver underlined that during this period when the world is experiencing the hottest days, exposure to hot weather can result in death, especially in the elderly and those with chronic diseases:
“The people over the age of 65, pregnant women, babies and children, obesity, diabetes, chronic cardiovascular and kidney diseases, people with mental health problems, athletes, outdoor workers and farmers are the most affected by heat waves. Some drugs used in heart diseases, hypertension, allergies, psychiatric and neurological diseases, alcohol and substance use can also increase the effects of heat.
“Heat cramps and skin rashes are alarming signs”
On the possible effects, Tanrıöver said, “We can rank heat-related diseases from mild to severe, as heat cramps, heat damage and heat stroke. The person may experience dizziness and lightheadedness, or even faint. In more advanced stages, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, marked weakness and sleepiness may develop. Older people with chronic diseases are particularly affected. However, people who exercise excessively in hot and humid weather despite being young and healthy can also experience heat stroke. It is characterized by neurological findings such as confusion or loss of consciousness, seizures, with the internal body temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. Heart and respiratory rate increase, blood pressure may decrease. Weakness, weakness, drowsiness, decreased urine output, bleeding, extremely dry skin and neurological symptoms may occur. If the drugs used prevent the physiological adaptation mechanisms, heat stroke can develop much faster. If these symptoms are noticed, especially in people with chronic diseases and advanced age, it is beneficial to apply to a health institution without wasting time. "In case of heat stroke, it is vital to cool the body quickly," he said.
What should be done to prevent heat-related diseases?
Things to do to prevent heat-related diseases are listed as follows:
“No drink can replace water. Drink water regularly throughout the day instead of waiting for thirst. Remember that you need to drink more water than usual. Avoid alcoholic, high sugar or caffeinated beverages. Eat small portions but more often, avoid high protein foods. Do your outdoor work during cooler hours of the day. Avoid crowded environments.
Sit in the coolest room in the house, and if you're outside, try to find shade. Take frequent showers with cool water. If you are going to exercise for sports purposes, usually choose between 04:00 and 07:00 in the morning, which is the coolest time of the day. Wear loose and light-colored clothing. Use wide-brimmed hats, umbrellas and sunglasses. When you start living in a new warm environment, gradually increase the time you spend outside. Do not leave children, people with chronic diseases and the elderly unattended outdoors for long periods of time. Consult your doctor to be informed about the effects of the drugs you use and to adjust their doses if necessary.
Do not leave children, the elderly and your animal friends in your parked vehicle. Check frequently that especially elderly people living alone and people with chronic diseases are safe in hot weather and warn them about necessary precautions. Know by which signs and symptoms you can recognize heat-related diseases, and what to do if they occur in yourself or others around you.