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Extremely Hot Weather Can Play a Part in Boston Injury Cases Involving Nursing Home Patients, Kids, and Athletes

The National Weather Service is reporting that the season’s second heat wave is here. In Eastern Massachusetts, a heat advisory continues today with temperatures in Boston striking 90 degrees as early as mid-morning, possible hitting 96 degrees, with the hot weather expected to continue through the weekend.

When temperatures are this high, it is important to exercise extra vigilance to prevent heat-related injuries and deaths from happening. In certain instances, failure to do so can be grounds for a Boston injury or wrongful death case.

Hyperthermia
Hyperthermia, also called heat stroke or sun stroke, can happen when a person’s body temperature goes up-over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than what it can handle. This condition can occur as a result of exposure to a lot of heat or from a lot of physical activity. Symptoms of hyperthermia may include vomiting, cramps, nausea, mental confusion, and fainting. Serious hyperthermia can be fatal.

Among those at risk of hyperthermia are elderly seniors, whose ability to regulate their own body temperature goes down as they age. This is why nursing homes must ensure that the proper conditions are in place at their facilities, including regulating the temperature in the home with fans, air conditioning, or open windows, not letting residents wander off outside on their own unattended and/or for long periods of time, making sure patients are properly hydrated and clothed, and monitoring them for signs of impending heat stroke. Unfortunately, Boston nursing home negligence can lead to hyperthermia for residents.

Another demographic at risk when it comes to hyperthermia are kids, whose bodies’ temperature can go up three to five times faster than adults. Unfortunately, child injuries and deaths have occurred because a child was left in a car unattended in hot weather-whether out of forgetfulness or convenience. Even with the windows rolled a little down, vehicles can get hot really fast. Our Boston personal injury lawyers represent the families of children that sustained hyperthermia injuries or deaths caused by the negligence or carelessness of others.

Hyperthermia also can happen during a lot of physical activity, which is why student and professional athletes must stay properly hydrated and refrain from excessive activity that could cause their body temperature to rise too high in hot weather. Coaches, trainers, and athletic organizations and groups are responsible for having the proper protocols and procedures in place to make sure hyperthermia doesn’t kick in for players.

Hot, humid weather stifles region, The Boston Globe, July 5, 2013

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New England Woman Awarded $43.1 Million Settlement in Products Liability Case against Car Seat Manufacturer, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, July 3, 2013

Worcester Police Investigate the City’s Third Pedestrian Fatality, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 2, 2013

Roofer’s Fatal Fall Reminds Workers of Risks of Working on Construction Sites, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, June 25, 2013