Grosse Pointe FarmsAugust 6, 2012
Jogger collapses, dies in Farms
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
A jogger who collapsed and stopped breathing in the 100 block of Grosse Pointe Boulevard Friday evening has been identified.
Police released a sketch and description of the victim after a motorist spotted him on the ground the evening of Aug. 3 and called 911. The man was later identified as a 64-year-old Grosse Pointe Farms resident, said Detective Bryan Ford. Ford said they don’t know what the cause of death was, but the man was pronounced dead after being rushed to nearby St. John Hospital and Medical Center. His name was being withheld, pending notification of his family, police said.
Good Samaritans who saw the victim immediately tried to help. According to a police report, a 49-year-old Grosse Pointe City man who had been driving in that area stopped when he saw the victim lying facedown on the ground around 8:54 p.m. The City man called 911 and at the request of a dispatcher, the man — who knew CPR — rolled the victim onto his back so he could begin chest compressions. A 72-year-old Farms woman also stopped to offer assistance and stayed on the scene until police arrived. Public safety officers continued CPR and used a defibrillator on the victim in an effort to revive him, and one of the officers rode in the ambulance with medics to assist with chest compressions. Sadly, their efforts were in vain, and at 9:39 p.m., hospital staff stopped their resuscitative efforts and declared the Farms man dead.
It was not known at press time if heat played a role in the victim’s untimely death, but temperatures were in the 90s Saturday and humidity was high, making for a potentially dangerous combination for anyone engaged in outdoor activity.
The Michigan Department of Community Health warns that temperatures in the high 80s and above can cause body temperature to rise, which can lead to dizziness, muscle cramps, serious heat illness and possibly death. Sweating is the body’s natural cooling mechanism, but in severe heat, the MDCH says that may not be enough to reduce body temperature.
“Everyone is at risk when it comes to the effects of extreme heat, but the elderly and young children are especially vulnerable,” said Dean Sienko, interim chief medical executive of the MDCH, in a press release. “During extreme heat, it's a good idea to check frequently on loved ones, neighbors and friends who may be at a greater risk for heat illness.”
The MDCH recommends spending time in air-conditioned places, minimizing direct sun exposure, staying hydrated with nonalcoholic beverages such as water, wearing loose and light-colored clothing, and swimming or taking a cool bath or shower as ways to avoid heat-related illness. Outdoor activity should be limited, if possible, and those who must be outside, such as landscapers and construction crews, should take regular breaks.
Dehydration is the first sign of heat-related illness, and symptoms include headache, cramps, thirst, dizziness, irritability, dry mouth and excessive fatigue, according to the MDCH. People experiencing dehydration should immediately head for a cooler area, such as an air-conditioned building or a shady spot outdoors, and they should drink water to replace lost fluids.
Heat exhaustion can occur during vigorous exercise or while working in hot, humid conditions. Loss of body fluids from sweating “can cause reduced blood flow to vital organs, which results in shock,” the MDCH stated in a press release. Heat exhaustion symptoms include weakness, moist and pale skin, headache and tiredness. A person suffering from heat exhaustion should find a cooler spot, loosen or remove tight clothing, consume half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes, and use a cool, damp towel or compress. If the person’s condition doesn’t improve, he or she should seek emergency medical treatment, the MDCH warns.
The most serious heat-related condition is heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. Someone with this dangerous ailment may vomit, demonstrate decreased alertness, have an elevated body temperature or hot, red skin with a weak, quick pulse, or even lose consciousness, the MDCH said. Emergency medical help should be contacted immediately. In the interim, the MDCH recommends dousing a heat stroke victim with a garden hose or helping that person into a tub of cool water.
When temperatures climb into the high 90s and above — as has already happened several times this summer — fans alone won’t prevent heat illnesses, the MDCH said.
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