Background: Heatwaves in the southern regions of Australia have received greater public health attention. An unprecedented heatwave occurred in Adelaide in early 2009, with maximum temperatures over 40 oC in 5 consecutive days. There was a 14-fold increase in hospital admissions, 2.4% increase in emergency department presentations, and 186 people died over five days. The present article is based on a qualitative study, which examines emergency stakeholder responses to the 2009 heatwave. Method: A qualitative interview was conducted in 2010. Interviews included the stakeholders from major Adelaide public hospitals, South Australian Ambulance Service, relevant South Australian Government Departments, Non- Government Organisations and other Service Providers. N Vivo has been used in data analysis.Findings: The results are presented in below sections: (1) the lack of organisation in emergency services responses to the 2009 heatwave was examined; (2) evening temperatures and their impact were explored; (3) coping strategies used by emergency services personnel were inspected; and (4) emergency services and challenges to population health were checked. The areas in emergency responses which need improvement as cited by key stakeholders were discussed, including (1) A more co-ordinated effort between emergency agencies in relation to their community responses; (2) Better management of triage patients during heatwaves which would prevent bottle-necks; (3) Increasing rest periods of emergency services staff and shorter working shifts in order to prevent fatigue; and (4) Greater clarification of heatwave trigger points in order to diminish misunderstanding by the public.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) - Barcelona, Spain, Spain|
Duration: 13 Sep 2011 → 16 Sep 2011
|Conference||International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE)|
|Period||13/09/11 → 16/09/11|
Peng, B., Saniotis, A., Nitschke, M., Pisaniello, D., Weinstein, P., Parton, K., & Han, G-S. (2012). Heatwaves, Population health, and emergency response in Adelaide, Australia: Lessons learnt. Abstract from International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), Spain.