State officials believe at least seven people in Oregon have died from heat-related issues, and dozens of people have sought medical attention, as the region continues to struggle with prolonged triple-digit temperatures.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death of an elderly man who died on Saturday in his home in Clackamas County. He didn’t have a working air conditioner, according to a county press release. No other details were released.
Of the other potential heat-related deaths this week, three were located in Multnomah County, one in Umatilla County, and another in Marion County. The Oregon Medical Examiner’s office did not share additional details, though it noted that the heat-related death designations are preliminary and a final cause-of-death determination may not be available for several months.
Multnomah County announced Thursday that Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications had received 71 heat-related calls since Sunday, and emergency medical services responded to 51 of them. Officials also said 22 people had been taken to emergency rooms for heat-related illnesses. Many of them were exposed to the heat while on the job.
At least a third of the emergency department visits for heat illness this week have been related to heat exposure on the job. We're seeing younger patients in their 20s coming in with symptoms of heat illness that are building up over days.— Multnomah County, OR (@multco) July 28, 2022
The National Weather Service says the extreme heat will now last longer than forecasters initially expected. Excessive heat warnings are in place throughout the region through Saturday evening.
Health officials are urging people to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, to stay hydrated, and to find somewhere cool to spend the daytime hours. Up-to-date information on cooling centers and overnight shelters is available at 211info.org and on the Multnomah County website at multco.us/hot.