University of Oulu

Ikäheimo, Tiina M.; Antikainen, Riitta (2020) Vanhus ja helle : suojaudu, viilennä, nesteytä. Lääkärilehti 24-33/2020 vsk 75 s. 1510-1514.

Vanhus ja helle : suojaudu, viilennä, nesteytä

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Author: Ikäheimo, Tiina M.1; Antikainen, Riitta2
Organizations: 1Oulun yliopisto, Ympäristöterveyden ja keuhkosairauksien tutkimuskeskus
2Oulun yliopisto, Elinikäisen terveyden tutkimusyksikkö, geriatria
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: Finnish
Published: Suomen lääkäriliitto, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-08-11


Suomessa helteet (lämpötila yli +25 °C) ovat yleistyneet 2010-luvulla, ja ne tulevat haittaamaan etenkin ikääntyneitä (1). Terveydenhuollon ammattilaisten on tärkeää ymmärtää kuuman ympäristön terveysvaikutukset, kun he antavat ohjeita ja huolehtivat ikääntyneiden tarkoituksenmukaisesta suojautumisesta. Kuvaamme artikkelissamme helteestä aiheutuvia riskejä ikääntyneen terveydelle ja keinoja hallita niitä.

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Older people and hot spells : protect, cool and hydrate

Climate warming increases the occurrence of hot spells with detrimental health effects especially on older people. Hot spells cause heat illnesses and worsen chronic diseases, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. The ageing population is susceptible to these effects because of their altered thermoregulation (reduced capacity to lose heat), high prevalence of chronic diseases and related medication, as well as due to behavioural, environmental, housing and social factors. Heat action plans are needed for systematic long- and short-term preparedness and require national, regional and local multisector co-operation. These activities include developing early warning systems, practising long-term urban planning, reducing indoor heat exposure, increasing preparedness of health care, caring for vulnerable populations and developing real-time surveillance and monitoring. Increasing awareness among the elderly themselves, as well as among their caretakers, is crucial for protection from the health risks of hot spells. Older people need instructions regarding adequate and sustained hydration, how their health condition can be affected by heat, use of appropriate clothing, how and when to engage in physical activity and how to cool their homes or cool themselves by regular cool showers or baths. Equally important is to increase awareness among caretakers of older people in healthcare facilities or care homes. During hot spells the personnel in healthcare facilities need to identify symptoms of heat illnesses and apply cooling methods and related treatment, consider the use and monitor the effects of medication, as well as monitoring water intake. In addition, the indoor temperature of healthcare facilities needs to be kept below 25°C. If air conditioning is not available, facilities can be cooled through increasing ventilation and passive cooling methods. In the worst case, older people need to be evacuated from the healthcare facilities or homes.

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Series: Lääkärilehti
ISSN: 0039-5560
ISSN-E: 2489-7434
ISSN-L: 0039-5560
Volume: 75
Issue: 24-33
Pages: 1510 - 1514
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Copyright information: © 2020 Lääkärilehti.