(WMC-TV) – Action News 5 has confirmed the first two heat-related deaths of 2012 in Shelby County.
The Shelby County Health Department confirms a 51-year-old woman was taken to the hospital on July 2 when she began having trouble breathing after her air conditioner broke. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The cause of the woman's death was due to complications from other health issues, but it was determined that heat was a contributing factor in her death.
The health department also confirmed the heat-related death of a 60-year-old man. The man was last seen alive on July 3. He was found on July 5 inside his home. There were no utilities connected at the residence and the temperature inside the home was 95 degrees when the man was found.
The cause of the man's death was also due to complications from other health issues, but heat was a contributing factor.
The Shelby County Health Department has the following tips to help prevent heat-related illness and death:
· Drink plenty of cool fluid, especially water; avoid alcohol and caffeine
· Wear light weight, light colored clothing
· Limit outdoor activities during the hottest times of the day
· Pace yourself during outdoor activities
· Stay cool indoors, especially in the heat of the day
· Never leave anyone in a car
· Monitor those at high risk, such as the elderly, young and pets as well.
For more information about heat-related illnesses, including prevention and treatment tips, you can visit the CDC's Extreme Heat Safety Web site.