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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 7, 2007

City confirms heat a factor in two summer deaths

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department has been notified by the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office that heat exposure was a factor in two deaths that happened in July and August. The two deaths mark the third and fourth confirmed heat-related deaths on the Missouri side of the metro area this year.

In late July, a 19-month-old female who had been exposed to extreme heat in a car was taken to a hospital for treatment, but died a few days later due to exposure. A criminal investigation in this case is ongoing.

In late August, a 92-year-old woman from the 600 block of West 43rd Street was found in her residence with no fan or running air conditioner. All of the windows in the residence were closed and locked. The woman had a history of cardiovascular disease.

The Medical Examiner’s Office also notified the Health Department that three other heat-related medical investigations are in progress and no further information will be released until the investigations are completed.

The six categories of people at highest risk for heat-related illnesses or death are people with chronic medical conditions or who are disabled, the elderly, the economically disadvantaged, people taking certain medications, including narcotics, sedatives and diuretics, toddlers left in cars and infants.

Heat information can be found on the Health Department’s Web site, www.kcmo.org/health. For general information on heat signs and symptoms, contact the 3-1-1 Action Center, (816) 513-1313 or 3-1-1. For heat information and community resources, call the Health Department’s community partner United Way 211 line, at 2-1-1 or (816) 474-5112.

Media inquiries about this issue should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, Health Department, (816) 840-2548 (pager).

    
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