Heatwave and Human Health Professor C W Brook

Heatwave and Human Health Professor C W Brook

Heatwave and Human Health Professor C W Brook Executive Director, Wellbeing Integrated Care and Ageing Division Dr John Carnie Director, Health Protection Branch & Chief Health Officer Presentation to Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration December 2, 2009 Department of Health Heatwave: Europe August 2003 Heatwave conditions across Europe in August 2003 Excess Mortality: France 14,800 Italy 10,000 Spain & Portugal 5,000 Greatest impact felt in Paris with a 130% increase in expected mortality

Urban Heat Island Effect Risk Factors Heatwave vulnerability Age >65 years, infants Pre-existing illness Unfit Overweight Some drugs e.g. anti-psychotics, diuretics

Living alone Urban environment Type of housing Availability of airconditioning Working or exercising outdoors Victorian Heatwave Strategy Sustainability Action Statement released in 2006 which committed to: Development of a Victorian Heatwave Plan involving communities and local government build the capacity of communities and individuals to self manage their response to heatwaves; develop a system to provide an appropriate level of coordinated support from health, community and emergency services; identify and carry out required research to support these objectives in the longer term; and host a national conference on climate change health

Victoria January 2009 4 day period from the 27/1 to the 30/1 with 3 days of temperatures in extreme range. Followed by a further extreme spike on 7/2/09 with subsequent catastrophic impacts associated with Black Saturday. Lead up activity Significant media for the Chief Health Officer in preparing the community in lead up Agreed health messages developed with Ambulance Victoria Nurse-on-call scripts revised

Departmental Emergency Coordination Centre operating Agreement with Bureau of Meteorology to post Victorian heatwave alert on bureau web site - visited 38,517 times Engagement with Local Governments with pilot Heatwave plans Other activity undertaken Health, community and emergency service actions and responses to heatwave alert Identification of vulnerable individuals and their carers A communication strategy to initiate alert, response and recovery phases of the plan Community awareness and education component Post event rapid health impact assessment reviewing data from a range of sources - Chief Health Officer report

CHO Report - selected findings A finding of 374 excess deaths over those occurring in the same period over the previous five years. A 62% increase in total all-cause mortality with greatest number of deaths in those 75 years or older Emergency departments recorded a 12% overall increase in presentations, a 37% increase in those 75 years and older and an 8% increase in direct heat-related presentations. There was a 3-fold increase in patients deceased on arrival, with 69% of those being 75 years and older The Ambulance Victoria caseload showed a 25% increase in total emergency cases, with a 46% increase over the three hottest days. A 34-fold increase in direct heat-related cases was also noted, with the

majority (61%) being in the 75 years and older age group. There was an almost 3-fold increase in cardiac arrest cases The MMDS recorded a 4-fold increase in attendance to direct heatrelated conditions, a 65% increase for those 75 and older, and a 2fold increase in calls to a deceased person Mortality All deaths* between 26 Jan and 1 Feb Expected (mean of 2004-08) vs. Observed (2009) 250 43.4 44.3 50 45

45.1 200 40 36.4 33.8 30.5 Deaths 150 35 30 25.5 25 C

100 20 15 50 2004-08 mean deaths 2009 deaths 2009 Max temp (C) 0 10 5 0 26/01 27/01

*Deaths data from BDM and reports to SCO 28/01 29/01 30/01 31/01 1/02 Date Total all cause mortality is 374 excess deaths (above expected) Subsequent Activity Further Progress of the Victorian Heatwave Strategy including:

Funding to a total of $1.99 Million for development of Heatwave Plans across Local Government Further engagement with Bureau of Meteorology, emergency services and health and community services Establish trigger thresholds for heat events and activation of heatwave plans Development of a surveillance system Development of a State wide heatwave plan that brings together relevant resources, action plans and initiatives to minimise health impacts in the event of a heatwave in the 2009-2010 summer season

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