Man Dies from Heat-Related Injury in Maricopa County
Arizona’s heat can be dangerous and deadly. In fact, in Maricopa County in 2018, heat caused 182 deaths. This number is up from previous years, with 150 heat-related deaths in 2016 and 155 heat-related deaths in 2017. Officials suspect the numbers could be even higher with because of deaths still under investigation. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat causes more deaths across the nation than all other national disasters combined.
Recently, a man overheated and died in his vehicle. He was dehydrated and had experienced extreme heat exhaustion. He was homeless and living in his vehicle, but his death could have happened inside a home or building where there was a lack of air conditioning as well.
While this was the first recorded heat death of the year for Maricopa County, officials say there could be more with the increasing temperatures this summer. Many deaths happen inside, when air conditioning is not present because it isn’t working or because people don’t have the money to pay their utility bills.
Here are some ways to avoid heat injury:
- Drink plenty of water
- Stay in shady areas whenever outside
- Don’t exercise during the hottest parts of the day
- Wear sun clothing including wide brimmed hats and breathable fabrics
- Make sure your home’s cooling system is working properly
- Make sure your vehicle’s cooling system is working properly
- Check on pets, children and elderly neighbors to make sure they aren’t getting too hot
- If you can’t pay your utility bill, info is available at
How can you tell your body is getting too hot? There are several symptoms to watch for that indicate your body is overheating:
- muscle cramping
- hot, red skin (indicates heat stroke) or cold, pale skin (indicates heat exhaustion)
- queasy stomach and vomiting
- confusion and disorientation
- no longer sweating
- rapid heart rate
Call 911 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing temperatures higher than 103 degrees; hot, red skin; fast pulse; headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and/or loss of consciousness. While you wait for emergency services, try to move yourself of the other person into a cooler place, lower their temperature with cool cloths, and do not give them anything to drink until medical personnel arrive.
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