Stay safe and well for Jubilee weekend
South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb)
is urging people to stay safe and look after themselves and friends
and family throughout the Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
And with the potential for further hot days in the coming weeks
and throughout the summer it is also urging people to take
appropriate precautions to keep well.
Last weekend (May 26-27) SECAmb received close to 5000 emergency
calls. This was an increase of around 800 on the previous weekend
(May 19-20). SECAmb typically sees an increase in its demand in
periods of hot weather and an increase in calls relating to
sunburn, dehydration and heat stroke – although many of these calls
can be avoided if some simple precautions are taken.
High temperatures can also seriously affect people with
long-term conditions such as heart conditions or high blood
pressure. SECAmb is urging these people to be equally cautious
during any hot weather.
While temperatures are expected to be cooler this weekend, a
large number of people will be out and about celebrating at a wide
range of events to celebrate the Jubilee. In addition, Epsom
Racecourse in Surrey plays host to the Derby this weekend, Euro
2012 kicks off next weekend and Olympic and Paralympic events
including the torch relay and the Games themselves are now only
weeks away. SECAmb is urging everyone to ensure the celebrations
are not spoilt by a trip in an ambulance which could have been
Head of Contingency, Planning and Resilience at SECAmb Andy
Cashman said: "Bank holiday weekends are often busy and as always
we have robust plans in place to manage any increase in demand but
the public can help us by using their common sense to avoid any
unnecessary trips to A&E. For example, if people choose to
consume alcohol they should also ensure they also drink plenty of
water. Throughout the whole summer we obviously want people to have
a good time but we’d ask that they are sensible and look out for
themselves, their friends and family."
By following the simple measures below the public can
potentially avoid the need to call an ambulance this weekend and
throughout the summer months.
- Stay in the shade or indoors. The sun is
at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm. Find shade under
umbrellas, trees or canopies. It is worth remembering that the
temperature is at least a couple of degrees cooler if you are by
- Use sunscreen and cover up. If you can't
avoid being out in the sun apply sunscreen (factor 15+) and wear a
t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
- Increase your fluid intake. The normal
recommended daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per
day. In extreme heat experts recommend you drink more and include a
range of different fluids.
- Keep your home cool. Keep windows closed
while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the
temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation.
- Look after the elderly. Older people are
more prone to the effects of heat. If you have older relatives or
neighbours you can help simply by checking on them and reminding
them to drink plenty and often. Also help them to keep their house
as cool as possible, using a fan if necessary.
- Protect children. Keep a close eye on
young children, who need plenty of fluids. A good way to check if
they are drinking enough is that they are passing urine regularly
and that it is not too dark. You should check nappies regularly.
Babies and the very young must be kept out of the sun.
- Avoid excessive physical exertion. If
you are taking physical exercise you need to drink half a litre of
fluid at least half an hour beforehand and continue to replenish
your fluids after exercising.
- Know the perils of outdoor eating. Warm
summer weather is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria so it is
especially important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
until you are ready to eat them. When barbecuing always make sure
you cook meat until it is piping hot, none of it is pink and all
juices run clear.
- Be sensible with alcohol. Hot weather speeds up the effects
of alcohol so extra care should be taken when drinking. Alcohol
will lead to dehydration so make sure that you alternate alcoholic
drinks with water or fruit juice.
- Keep cool at work. The office is often
the coolest place to be in a heat wave. Ask your boss for
air-conditioning or fans and open windows where possible. Keep
windows shaded with blinds and if possible move your working
position out of direct sunlight. Have plenty of breaks during the
day to get cold drinks and cool down.
Remember, heat stroke can kill. It can develop very
suddenly and rapidly lead to unconsciousness. If you suspect
someone is suffering from heat stroke call 999
While waiting for the ambulance you should follow the
instructions given to you by the ambulance call taker. The
following can also help someone suffering from heat stroke.
- If possible, move the person somewhere
- Increase ventilation by opening windows
or using a fan.
- Cool the patient down as quickly as
possibly by loosening their clothes, sprinkling them with cold
water or wrapping them in a damp sheet.
- If they are conscious, give them water or
fruit juice to drink.
- Do not give them aspirin or
If you need medical advice or treatment you
- Talk to a pharmacist
- Call NHS Direct (0845 4647) – 24 hours or visit http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
- Visit your GP surgery or Minor Injury Unit