Increase in patients hit by sun and heat
SEVERAL PEOPLE have been admitted to Wexford General Hospital for treatment for sunburn and sunstroke.
A&E consultant Dr Paul Kelly has urged people to be very careful and to wear sun screen, especially at peak sun hours.
With temperatures hovering in the high 20s over the past few weeks, beach-goers and sun worshippers have been feeling the strain.
Many elderly people have been suffering from extreme breathing difficulties during the heat wave, during which the county has experienced temperatures not seen in many years.
Waterford Regional Hospital has also had admissions for sunburn and sunstroke, a source confirmed to this newspaper.
Dr Kelly said although the number of people presenting with sun-related ailments is down on similar continuous sunny periods years ago, there have been a number of people presenting with sunburn and sun stoke.
'Irish people are getting the message and they are putting on sun screen and high factor skin protection. People are more aware of the dangers of excessive sun and skin cancer and sunburn now.'
He said the people who presented had been out in the sun for far too long in some cases and were suffering from high temperatures and rapid breathing, as well as confusion and fatigue.
'It's potentially life-threatening because your body heats up so much it's like a prolonged hypothermia. It's like people who have had a reaction to drugs.'
The first person to present at the A&E at Wexford General Hospital with a sun-related illness was on the weekend before last, with more people presenting throughout last week.
Dr Kelly urged people working outdoors in particular to wear a hat and wear plenty of sun screen.