Who is at most risk of being adversely affected by extreme summer heat?
Overheating can be a problem for those with heart disease, neurologic or psychiatric disorders, obesity, inability to sweat, physical disability, the very old or very young, as well as those who use recreational drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine, and some prescription drugs, such as diuretics. Prolonged overheating can cause difficulty breathing, heart problems, low blood pressure, kidney injury, seizure or loss of consciousness. Electrical outages in summer months pose a significant threat for elderly persons who live alone or who are unable to seek help. If you have an elderly parent, it is very important to check on him or her more often during a heat wave.