Spain’s Costa del Sol & Costa Blanca’s emergency services run ragged yesterday attending cases of Heatstroke
The emergency services on both Spain’s Costa del Sol & Costa Blanca were rung ragged yesterday as temperatures even on the coastline soared past 40 degrees in searing heat.
As the predicted hot thermal winds hit the coasts, emergency services attended a record 246 cases alone on the Costas.
80% of the cases were British, 10% German 5% Scandanavian, 3% Dutch and just 3% Spanish according to emergency ambulance driver Maria Lopez after she, at last, finished her shift after a torrid Saturday.
Lopez told Euro Weekly News this morning how bad a shift Saturday was:
“That was the busiest shift in a long time and according to our controller, we had a record amount of heatstroke cases for the ten years he’s worked in the control room, it’s been the same in Costa Blanca too, the worst two periods were between 2-4 pm and 6-9 pm at one time we were struggling to get to everyone”
“The calls came in thick and fast as the day went along, and most patients were treated on-site but on the Costa del Sol at least 6 were taken to local hospitals, many due to long-standing health problems such as heart disease,”
“The majority of cases we were able to rehydrate in the ambulance but it took at least 30-45 minutes per patient, many having to be placed on a drip solution as blood pressures were high,”
” The longer the day went on the more people suffered after being out in the heat longer and not taking enough fluids throughout the day and staying outside too long, especially on the beaches, we even had to attend bars as the British especially watched a football match after coming off the beach and drinking alcohol instead of water.”
Maria went onto warn: ” Today is expected to be worse, people need to stop and think, drink plenty of water, shade from the sun and stay indoors where possible and don’t think just because it’s the evening the problem will go away, it was still 28 degrees at 4 AM this morning, all weekend leave has been cancelled and we are prepared for more long shifts and high numbers.”
Ambulances are being called out when unnecessary and could be prevented from attending more serious call outs,
- a headache
- dizziness and confusion
- loss of appetite and feeling sick
- excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
- cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- fast breathing or pulse
- temperature of 38C or above
- being very thirsty
The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although children may become floppy and sleepy.
If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, they need to be cooled down.
Things you can do to cool someone down
If someone has heat exhaustion, follow these 4 steps:
- Move them to a cool place.
- Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
- Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
- Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good, too.
Stay with them until they’re better.
They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.