Turning up the Heat on Admissions: A Study of the Impacts of Extreme Heat Events on Tasmanian Hospital Admissions 2003-2010

Singleton, Judith A., Huang, Cunrui, & Porter, Kaitlyn E. (2014) Turning up the Heat on Admissions: A Study of the Impacts of Extreme Heat Events on Tasmanian Hospital Admissions 2003-2010. In Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association (APSA) Conference, 5-7 December 2014, Brisbane, Qld.

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Abstract

Introduction:

Extreme heat events (both heat waves and extremely hot days) are increasing in frequency and duration globally and cause more deaths in Australia than any other extreme weather event. Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between extreme heat events and an increased risk of morbidity and death. In this study, the researchers sought to identify if extreme heat events in the Tasmanian population were associated with any changes in emergency department admissions to the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) for the period 2003-2010.

Methods:

Non-identifiable RHH emergency department data and climate data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology were obtained for the period 2003-2010. Statistical analyses were conducted using the computer statistical computer software ‘R’ with a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) package used to fit a quassi-Poisson generalised linear regression model.

Results:

This study showed that RR of admission to RHH during 2003-2010 was significant over temperatures of 24 C with a lag effect lasting 12 days and main effect noted one day after the extreme heat event.

Discussion:

This study demonstrated that extreme heat events have a significant impact on public hospital admissions. Two limitations were identified: admissions data rather than presentations data were used and further analysis could be done to compare types of admissions and presentations between heat and non-heat events.

Conclusion:

With the impacts of climate change already being felt in Australia, public health organisations in Tasmania and the rest of Australia need to implement adaptation strategies to enhance resilience to protect the public from the adverse health effects of heat events and climate change.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 92270
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 25 Jan 2016 05:25
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2017 12:37

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