Improved Identification and Assessment of Heat-Related Illnesses in Pinal County, AZ


Extreme heat and related illnesses are a critical concern in Arizona from May to September each year. From 2008 to 2016, Arizona medical facilities had an average of 1,790 emergency visits and 442 hospital admissions for heat-related illnesses (HRI) during the summer months. In 2016 alone, Arizona Emergency Departments (EDs) received a total of 2,484 visits for HRI and 527 of these cases were admitted as inpatients1. Pinal County, which has an estimated population of 430,237 individuals, contributes to the number of HRI visits to Arizona Emergency Departments that occur each year. In order to determine the burden of HRIs within the county, Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) began to conduct heat-related illness surveillance in 2017 and found that 149 HRI cases had been reported that year3. PCPHSD continued to conduct HRI surveillance through summer 2018 to build on surveillance activities from 2017 and meet the following goals: 1) improve HRI case identification and assessment through enhanced HRI surveillance and interview processes, 2) determine risk factors and risk populations for HRIs in Pinal County, and 3) recommend and implement practical interventions to prevent HRIs among Pinal residents.

Objective: Determine risk factors and risk populations for heat-related illnesses in Pinal County, AZ by improving HRI case identification and assessment.

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
January, 2019

June 18, 2019

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