Death in Gran Canaria highlights need to take care in extreme heat

Added 21/05/2012

Last week a British tourist very sadly died in Gran Canaria after suffering a cardiac arrest thought to be linked to a heat wave that had been gripping the Canary Islands.

The woman, who was in her 70s, had been taking part in a trek organised by one of the UK’s largest walking holiday operators. Two other women in their 60s who were taking part in the two hour trek were also airlifted to hospital, but were released.

The World Meteorological Organisation had issued an orange weather warning for “extreme high temperatures” in the Canary Islands covering Lanzarote and Fuerteventura along with parts of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Temperatures last week were in excess of 40 degrees for several days, where the average for the time of year is around 20 degrees.

This sad death highlights the need for everyone to take care in extreme heat, although it is usually the very young, older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart or breathing problems that are most vulnerable. The main risks are dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

For information about staying cool in extreme temperature read our tips on coping in hot weather >>

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