Elder Abuse

Elderly Arizona Residents at Risk for Heat Stroke in Nursing Homes

By August 12, 2019 No Comments
photo of an old women dehydrated due to heat stroke

Summers are scorching hot in Arizona with temperatures easily climbing to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit on any given day. In fact, according to weather statistics, Phoenix averages a daily maximum temperature in July between 104 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit. August temperatures aren’t any better with average highs of 104 in the city.

Unfortunately, the heat in Phoenix and throughout Arizona is a killer. As temperatures continue to rise with climate change, the number of fatalities due to heat stroke is also rising. In 2017, heat-related deaths rose to record highs in Phoenix with 155 heat fatalities.

What Happens to the Body in Extreme Heat?

When the body is exposed to prolonged high temperatures, it begins to dehydrate. This can lead to a failure of the body systems that are supposed to regulate the temperature in the body. When the core body temperature is greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the central nervous system becomes
compromised. This can cause noticeable symptoms, such as:
● Nausea and vomiting
● Lack of sweating
● Throbbing headache
● Confusion and disorientation
● Rapid or shallow breathing
● Seizures
● Loss of consciousness
● Coma
● Internal organ failure

Heat Stroke and the Elderly

Elderly residents are at an increased risk of suffering from heat strokes due to their vulnerability and aging bodies. As the body ages, the ability to sweat decreases. This can make it even more difficult for seniors to regulate their body temperatures. As the temperature rises, seniors are not able to adjust to these rising temperatures as well as younger individuals. Sadly, this results in serious injuries and tragic fatalities each year.

Unfortunately, heatstroke can be a sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Negligent caregivers may place elderly residents outside without adequate supervision in extremely hot weather. When left exposed, these seniors may experience heat stroke symptoms very quickly.

Nursing home staff have a duty to protect nursing home residents from the damaging effects of the sun and the heat. This means ensuring that their rooms are kept cool and air-conditioned and that they are not left unsupervised. Any complaints about being hot should be taken seriously by all caregivers.

Nursing homes in Arizona are required to maintain a safe and comfortable temperature for all senior residents. Arizona nursing home laws require all facilities to maintain a facility temperature between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Failure to do so could result in the nursing home care facility being charged with nursing home abuse and neglect.

Contact Our Phoenix Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today

If you or someone you love has suffered from a heat stroke in Phoenix because of a caregiver’s negligence, we can help. At Miller Weber Kory LLP, our Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers know that heatstroke is often the result of negligent supervision and abuse. As such, we work tirelessly to protect our clients after a devastating injury. Contact us today at (602)833-8981 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We are here when you need us the most – and we will fight for you every step of the way.

Additional Reading:
Arizona Seniors More Vulnerable to Elder Abuse & Neglect
Nursing Home Abuse: 3 Things Loved Ones Need To Know