Scorching temperatures nationwide over the past few days have brought health hazards and some deadly consequences.
The body of an 89-year-old man surnamed Ho (何) in Hsinchu County was found in the vegetable garden at the back of his house on Monday, after he failed to return home for lunch.
A preliminary examination by the police indicated the man died from cardiac arrest and lung failure. There was no sign of foul play, police said.
With temperatures in Hsinchu hitting 36.9°C that day, the highest for the nation, police said Ho most likely suffered from heat stroke, then lost consciousness.
National Taiwan University Hospital Jhudong Branch physician Tu Yi-lin (杜宜霖) said the sweltering heat had brought several young people into the emergency ward for treatment after fainting or experiencing dizziness and muscle cramps.
“It is very dangerous for the elderly to work outdoors under direct exposure to sunlight. In Ho’s case, he must have lost consciousness because of heat stroke, leading to organ failure and resulting in death,” Tu said.
Tu said people who experience symptoms of heat stroke should immediately head to a shaded place and remove their outer clothing.
“You can apply a wet towel to your skin to help dissipate the heat, then seek medical treatment quickly to replenish the loss of body fluids and electrolytes,” he said.