Hospital admissions rise as south-east Queensland swelters in the heat

If you thought Sunday and Monday were hot, wait until you meet Tuesday.

On Sunday the temperature peaked at 34 degrees, while on Monday it crept up to a sweltering 35.

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Heat is 'risky for everyone'

Brisbane will reach 37 degrees and feel like 40 on Tuesday after hot conditions saw a spike in ambulance call-outs on Monday. Nine News

The heat itself was enough to make most people break out in an uncomfortable sweat but when the high moisture content in the air is taken into consideration, by 2pm it felt like 37.

Tuesday will see the temperature actually reach 37 degrees with the ambient temperature tipped to be even higher, prompting safety warnings from authorities.

The Bureau of Meteorology released a heatmap estimating the expected hottest regions of Australia on Tuesday.
The Bureau of Meteorology released a heatmap estimating the expected hottest regions of Australia on Tuesday. Photo: Bureau of Meterology

That's hotter than the predicted maximum 1700 kilometres north in Cairns. It's warmer than the state's hottest town of Julia Creek, which sweated through 20 straight days above 40 degrees in November 2014.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting humidity will be lower on Tuesday making moving through the city slightly more comfortable than it has been this week.


The climbing temperatures have seen the number of patients transported to hospital for heat-related illness increase slightly on Sunday and Monday.

This year the average number of people transported to hospital for heat-related illnesses is 3.7 people per day, but that number spiked to six people per day on Sunday and Monday.

This week's hot conditions have seen a spike in patients being transported to hospital.
This week's hot conditions have seen a spike in patients being transported to hospital. Photo: Leigh Henningham

Cooler conditions won't present themselves until Friday, when the bureau is tipping a high of 29 degrees.

"We are in the depths of summer now, its February where we normally have average temperatures of 29-30 degrees," a spokesman for the bureau said.

"Things start cooling down in late March into April."

Queensland Health has a number of suggestions for staying healthy in the heat.

  • Keep hydrated by drinking water regularly during the day. 
  • Avoid drinking drinks with high levels of sugar, caffeine and alcohol and very cold drinks.
  • Eat smaller cool meals, such as salads. Do not take additional salt tablets unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • Keep yourself cool. Use wet towels or scarves, put your feet in cool water or take cool (not cold) showers. Stay indoors in cool or air-conditioned facilities
  • Close curtains and blinds, and open windows.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you can't avoid outdoor activities don't go out in the hottest part of the day.
  • Do not leave children, adults or animals in parked vehicles.
  • Keep in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives to ensure that they are coping with the heat wave conditions.

Queensland Ambulance Service clinical quality and patient safety director Tony Hucker warned Queenslanders to stay out of the sun, avoid dehydration and wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool.

"Try to avoid doing anything that's really exertional during the hot part of the day," He said.

"Drink lots and lots of water and look out for the old folks.

"What we've really got to be careful about today is the high risk groups and that's the older people and young kids, who sometimes just can't look out for themselves.

"So if you've got an elderly neighbour, go and knock on the door and say 'hey, how you going, do you need a drink?' and make sure they're OK."

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