VIFM records spike in reported deaths as heatwave hits Victoria

February 3rd 2014

Many of you will have read the recent article in The Age Newspaper (23/01/2014) regarding the increased deaths and hospital presentations related to the heat wave in Victoria that started on January 13th 2014.

The Institute”s Director Professor Stephen Cordner was interviewed about this issue on ABC radio and highlighted that over this period there had been an extra 139 deaths reported to the Coroner over and above the usual numbers of deaths that would be expected at this time of year.

The medical and diagnostic issues involved in heat related deaths were further explained by A/Prof David Ranson, the Institute”s Deputy Director in an article published by “The Conversation”. This online news site publishes academic commentaries on key issues and had actively sought material on the heat wave from the Monash University Department of Forensic Medicine (VIFM). In this article A/ Prof Ranson described some of the key features of heat wave related deaths including the timing of deaths following a heat wave, the diagnostic difficulties in coming to the conclusion a death might be heat related and the pathological mechanisms that may be involved in these deaths. He also addressed the issue of how some of these deaths could have been prevented.

You can read David Ranson”s article by following this link:

http://theconversation.com/death-in-a-hot-climate-southern-heatwave-to-take-its-toll-22039