The Louisiana Department of Health has launched a new dashboard to track heat-related deaths and visits to emergency rooms. (JJ Gouin/Getty Images via Canva)
The Louisiana Department of Health launched a new online data portal providing information on heat-related illnesses and deaths, as the state finds itself in one of its hottest summers in decades.
The dashboard includes information on heat-related deaths categorized by region of the state as well as race, gender and ethnicity of the victims. There is also a list of Louisiana emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses by date and parish.
The state also released a demographic breakdown of the people seeking treatment for heat-related illnesses in local emergency rooms. Louisiana received a federal grant earlier this year to start tracking heat-related emergency room visits statewide.
The health department will update the dashboard weekly every Tuesday.
Highlights of the information as of Aug. 28 include:
- Louisiana has recorded 26 heat-related deaths since June, with more than half (16) occurring in July. Other heat-related deaths from this period could be reported in the future. Cause-of-death investigations can take as long as eight weeks, so there could be a delay in getting the final tally for the summer months.
- Half of the people killed by a heat-related illness were 65 or older. Most (88%) were male.
- Emergency room visits for heat-related illnesses hit their high in late June. Louisiana had over 100 ER trips per day from June 27-30. At no other point in the summer have ER visits surpassed 100 per day.
- People have made more visits to the emergency room for heat-related illnesses at the end of the week, with Thursday (754 visits) and Saturday (765 visits) seeing the most action.
- Men were much more likely to visit the emergency room for a heat-related illness than women. They made up 76% of the patients during these visits.
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