Multnomah County investigating another possible heat death
The Multnomah County Medical Examiner is investigating another possible death from the most recent heat wave.
The victim died on Aug. 15. The victim's name and other details about the death were not immediately released. The investigation may not be completed for weeks.
The medical examiner had previously ruled out heat as the cause of an Aug. 13 death.
Oregon, Multnomah County and Portland took many steps to reduce deaths during the mid-August heat wave. They include fully staffing the 211 referral call center, opening cooling centers and misting stations, and making visits and phone calls to vulnerable residents.
Until the unprecedented late June heat wave, Multnomah County recorded only two hyperthermia deaths since 2010 — one each in 2016 and 2018. In June and July of this year, 62 people were confirmed to have died. Confirmation on several others is forthcoming pending toxicology results.
Multnomah County also reports that visits to emergency departments for heat-related complaints also are up, with at least 10 visits for heat-related illness during the first two days of this heat event. That count is well over the typical none to one per day, but a fraction of the 150 visits registered in June.
County officials say they will update this information as it becomes available.
The Oregon Medical Examiner's Office has reported 96 deaths from the late June heat wave, with most in Multnomah County. The New York Times has reported the actual number may be 159, counting all deaths influenced by the heat.
Resources for beating the heat can be found here.
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