A Phoenix burn doctor warns of the serious injuries people are sustaining after hitting the sidewalk as the city grapples with a brutal heatwave.
“We see a lot of patients who fall on concrete, sidewalk or asphalt and get very, very deep burns as a result,” says Dr. Kevin Foster, the director of the Arizona Burn Center. said the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview which aired on Thursday.
In such situations, the burns are “almost always third-degree,” he said.
On a hot afternoon, “black asphalt can reach 170 to 180 degrees [Fahrenheit]’ Foster added. Burn victims are often elderly people who fall and are unable to get up, or people who have fallen due to illness.
“It tends to make those injuries really, really bad because people just stay down for a long period of time,” Foster said.
Phoenix’s Multiple record-breaking heatwave has scorched the city with temperatures that have reached at least 110 degrees for 21 consecutive days until now. The capital of Arizona is one of many places around the world Frying as a result of human-caused climate change combined with the El Niño climate pattern.
Air Force veteran Christopher Malcolm said NBC News about the severe burns he sustained through a sidewalk in Las Vegas about two weeks ago. While waiting for a bus in 110 degrees, the 73-year-old sat on the ground and suffered such severe burns on his jeans that he now needs surgery.
“This level of heat that we’re having in Phoenix right now is tremendously dangerous, especially for people who either don’t have air conditioning or can’t afford to run their air conditioning,” Evan Mallen, senior analyst at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Urban Climate Lab, told The Associated Press.
Last summer, Phoenix suffered what was dubbed the city’s heat wave “The Worst Ever” At that time, 85 people were hospitalized for heat-related contact burns. Seven of these people died from their injuries. according to a press release from Valleywise Health Medical Center, where the Arizona Burn Center is located.