FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 24, 2005
Heat claims second victim in Kansas City, Mo.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that heat exposure was a factor in the death of a 57-year-old Kansas City, Mo., man who lived in the 5000 block of Park Avenue.
The victim had a pre-existing medical condition that may have made him more susceptible to the heat. The victim’s caretaker left for the weekend and returned Aug. 9, to find that the victim had died. It is unknown if he had contact with anyone during the caretaker’s absence.
The room temperature where the victim was found was estimated to be 90 degrees despite the fact two fans were on – a box fan in the second floor window and another beside his bed.
People who have chronic medical conditions or are disabled make up one of the five categories at highest risk for heat-related illnesses or death. Other high-risk groups include the elderly; the economically disadvantaged; people taking certain medications, including narcotics, sedatives and diuretics; and infants less than one year old. In this case, at least one of these high-risk categories may have been a factor in this death.
Heat-related deaths can be prevented. The Health Department recommends checking on relatives, friends and neighbors who are in one of the five high-risk categories once in the morning and once in the evening during extreme heat conditions.
The Health Department’s 24-hour Heat Hotline, (816) 513-6265, provides information and tips about how to beat the heat. Heat information can also be found on the Health Department’s Web page (www.kcmo.org/health).