Image © West Australian Newspapers Limited
Our climate is becoming hotter. This is our reality. Extreme heat is already responsible for hundreds of deaths every year. It’s a big environmental killer, and deaths from heatwaves in Australian cities are expected to double in the next 40 years.
Those most at risk are the elderly, people with chronic illness, those living in socioeconomic disadvantage, outdoor workers, and athletes who play their sport in brutally high temperatures. But extreme heat can affect anyone at any age.
So, what happens in our body during times of extreme heat? And how can it lead to fatal consequences?
This article was co-authored by Dr Mark Monaghan, an emergency physician, and Dr Liz Bashford, an anaesthetist, who are both members of Doctors for the Environment Australia.