The City of St. Louis Department of Health has announced that a 75-year-old female has been confirmed as the City's fifth heat-related death this year. The individual's air conditioner was on but was blowing hot air in her home in the 3300 block of Liberty. Her family checked on her regularly. She was pronounced dead on July 24, 2011, at 1:16 PM.
"This is a very dangerous time for many of our residents," said City Health Director Pamela Walker. "Residents need to ensure their air conditioners are working correctly or seek refuge in an air-conditioned environment."
While these extremely hot temperatures can be dangerous for all individuals, seniors are often more at risk to heat stress because they don't adjust as well to extreme temperature changes. This week's forecasted prolonged excessive heat is especially dangerous to seniors and individuals with underlying medical issues. Furthermore, many seniors have medical conditions or take medicines that may impact their ability to adjust to heat, which increases their risk of heat stress.
"This is an excellent time to be a good neighbor," added Mayor Slay. "It's especially important to make sure our more vulnerable residents - seniors, children, and pets - are keeping cool."
Residents who do not have an air conditioner or need energy assistance should call the United Way at 1-800-427-4626 or 211 from a land line or Cool-Down St. Louis at 314-241-7668 or visit cooldownstlouis.org.