by Staff Reporter
THE number of chronically sick people who have had to be admitted to hospital in the Balearics is 20 per cent higher than previous years, because of the heatwave. According to Javier Puigxoriguer, who co-ordinates the casualty ward at the Son Dureta national health hospital, diabetics and people with kidney and heart problems are specially sensitive to the high temperatures, which affect their organisms. The situation is even more serious in elderly persons, he added.
Puigxoriguer said that the number of elderly people admitted had increased by as much as 20 per cent, although he added that this was just a provisional calculation. However, the hospital has not reported an increase in the number of people suffering from sunstroke, which has caused several deaths in other regions, such as Andalucia. “Only one person has been admitted for sunstroke, the same number as previous years,” Puigxoriguer said, although he warned that it is particularly dangerous because it is not very well known. To prevent the condition, he recommended people not to stay in the sun too long, drink plenty of liquids (this is particularly true for the elderly and children, he emphasised) and any outdoor activities should be done in the early morning or late afternoon, when the heat is less intense. He recommended that people should not make great physical efforts or practice sports in the sun, and should take precautions when on excursions.
Beach lovers should use sun screens with a high level of protection and should not stay out in the sun for prolonged periods.
A recent report by a team of experts at the Nutritional Research Foundation said that people should drink about three litres of water a day in summer, one more than the recommended amount during the rest of the year. The report says that between one and two litres an hour can be lost through perspiration in the heat, because of greater physical activity and journeys. The report also recommends foods which have a high water content such as fresh vegetables, milk, boiled rice, fish and eggs.

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