Mon, Jul 15, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Hot weather and air conditioning contributing to spike in heart attacks
熱天進出冷氣房 心肌梗塞急症激增

A woman stands next to a new air conditioner at a media event held in Taipei on Jan. 29.
一位模特兒一月二十九日於台北舉辦的媒體活動,站在新空調旁邊。

Photo: Sung Chih-hsiung, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者宋志雄

In the sweltering heat, you are constantly going in and out of air-conditioned rooms, intermittently hot and cold, which can increase the risk of having a heart attack and be hazardous to your health. Chi Mei Hospital’s Chili branch in Greater Tainan recently received three patients having heart attacks, all allegedly caused by being hot and cold off and on because they kept going in and out of air-conditioned rooms, which caused the capillaries in the heart to constrict and lead to coronary muscle blockage.

The high temperatures last month broke historical records. According to statistics from the Bureau of Health Promotion, as many as 427 people sought medical attention because of heatstroke last month, which is twice as high as last year. The high temperatures are putting people’s lives in severe danger.

With the relentless heat in recent days, Chi Mei Hospital’s Chili branch had three heart attack patients in the emergency room that were thought to have been related to the weather. Kuo Ping-jang, head of the emergency department at the hospital, said that the patients, two over the age of 80 and one 40-something, came into the emergency room complaining of chest pain, difficulties breathing and looking unwell. After an electrocardiogram (EKG) confirmed that they all had acute myocardial infarctions, they were given emergency treatment along with drugs and immediately sent to the hospital’s Yongkang branch, where they underwent cardiac catheterization. All of the patients have since left the hospital.

Kuo says that heart attacks are caused by a shortage of blood supply to the heart due to coronary muscle blockage, and if you do not seek emergency treatment immediately it could do irreversible damage to the heart. The symptoms and warning signs of a heart attack include pressure or tightness in the center of the chest, nausea, paleness of pallor, anxiety, shortness of breath and a cold sweat, Kuo says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. sweltering adj.

悶熱的 (men1 re4 de5)

例: The apartment was sweltering because the air conditioner broke.

(公寓裡空調壞掉,所以熱得喘不過氣來。)

2. heatstroke n.

中暑 (zhong4 shu3)

例: High body temperature, lack of sweating, nausea and a headache are all signs of heatstroke.

(中暑的徵兆包含體溫高、缺乏汗、噁心感和頭痛。)

3. nausea n.

噁心感 (e3 xin1 gan3)

例: A wave of nausea swept over him and he suddenly fainted.

(他感到一陣噁心後,突然昏倒。)


People typically assume that the low temperatures during winter increase one’s risk of having a heart attack, but Kuo says that the risk is actually slightly higher in the summer than it is in winter. The main reason, he says, is because people usually go in and out of air-conditioned rooms when the weather is scorching hot, which can cause the capillaries in the heart to constrict improperly. If the capillaries in a person’s heart already have problems it can affect the flow of blood and cause blockage in the coronary muscle, leading to an acute myocardial infarction.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

大熱天進出冷氣房,忽冷忽熱的情況容易導致心肌梗塞,危害健康。佳里奇美醫院近來就接獲三名急性心肌梗塞的急診病患,皆因進出冷氣房忽冷忽熱時造成心血管收縮,進而造成冠狀動脈阻塞。

六月均溫破歷史紀錄,國健局統計,六月因中暑急診的人數高達四百二十七人,是去年同期的兩倍,高溫對民眾健康造成嚴重威脅。

近日天氣持續高溫,佳里奇美醫院即已接連接獲三起疑與天氣有關的急症病例。佳里奇美醫院急診室主任郭炳讓表示,兩位八十歲病患及一位四十餘歲的病患被送急診,到院時均表示胸痛及呼吸不順,表情痛苦,以心電圖檢查確認是急性心肌梗塞,經緊急處置、給藥,立即轉送永康奇美醫學中心,由心臟內科進行心導管手術,目前均已出院。

郭炳讓並指出,心肌梗塞是冠狀動脈阻塞造成心臟肌肉缺少血液供應,若未立即急救,可能導致心臟損害。病症的特徵為胸骨後或心前區突然發生壓迫感或悶痛,伴有噁心、面色蒼白、煩燥心悸、呼吸短促、冒冷汗。

他強調,大家常以為冬天氣溫驟降較易心肌梗塞,其實夏天的病例還略高於冬天。主因天氣炎熱時,室內多會開冷氣,民眾進出冷氣房,忽冷忽熱,容易造成心血管不當收縮,血管不佳的病人可能影響血液流量,進而造成冠狀動脈阻塞,引發急性心肌梗塞。

(自由時報記者黃博郎)

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