The Mid and North Coast of NSW is prone to high temperatures, prolonged heat waves and drought during the summer months.
Extreme heat can affect anybody, however those most at risk are older people, young children, the homeless, and people with a medical condition. Some illnesses or conditions can occur as a direct result of excessive heat, such as heat rash, cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke, and exertional heatstroke. Heatstroke is an emergency and may be fatal in up to 80% of cases. Heat waves often result in increases in all-cause mortality.
The Heat-Related Illness HealthPathway provides information to help assist GPs and other health professionals to accurately identify and appropriately manage heat-related illnesses. The pathway provides best practice assessment and management guidelines, tools and referral pathways.
The assessment section provides:
- Red flags to ensure severe illness is not missed.
- Emphasis on the need to obtain an accurate core temperature.
- Key examination features.
The management section provides:
- Guidance on when emergency assessment is required.
- First aid measures to implement in primary care.
- Treatment for sunburn.
- Advice to provide to patients about how to prevent heat-related illness.
The information section provides guidelines and evidence-based articles for practitioners on how to prevent and manage heat-related illnesses. The patient information section provides useful websites and printable patient information handouts.
For a list of all localised pathways see: