Heat stress cases on the rise as temperatures soar in Qatar

June 16, 2011

Qatar’s Emergency Department at the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has reported a significant rise in heat-related cases apparently due to an unusual rise in temperature levels.

Most of the victims were expatriates put on outdoor jobs by companies, Qatari daily The Peninsula said on Thursday.

The Department, however, has not come across any heat stroke cases until now, an official said. The Department started receiving heat related cases in March, much earlier than the usual start of the summer season in Qatar.

Ten cases were reported in March, while a slight increase was noticed in April with a total of 11 cases. However, the number of heat related illnesses, mostly heat exhaustion cases, saw a sudden jump in May, with a sudden rise in temperature levels.

While mercury soared up to 46 degrees in the hottest days of the month, heat exhaustion cases at the Emergency Department also went up, reaching 103 during the whole month.

“This shows a considerable increase compared with May last year, when we received a total of 87 cases,” a senior consultant at the Department said.

Several private clinics also reported a rise in the number of cases over the past two months, the daily said. A specialist physician running a private clinic in Doha said he had referred four heat exhaustion cases to the Emergency Department in one week.

“A number of people who come with heat related problems suffer from heat cramps and heat rashes,” the physician said. “Renal disorders and urinary infection are also commonly found due to lack of sufficient intake of water,” the physician said.

Experts have advised people, especially those working outdoors, to protect themselves from direct exposure to heat and sunlight, and increase the intake of fluids.

“A person should drink at least four litres of water daily but most people don’t do that, especially those staying in air conditioned rooms,” the physician said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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