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91,467 people taken to hospital for heatstroke nationwide from May to September

42 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Saturday that 91,467 people were taken to hospital to be treated for heatstroke or heat exhaustion from May to September this year.

It is the second highest number on record after 95,137 in 2018, and the second straight year that the number surpassed 91,000, the agency said. 

Of the total number, 107 people died due to heatstroke. By age group, 50,173 of those taken to hospital were older than 65, 30,910 were aged 18-65, 9,583 were 7-18 years old, while 801 children younger than 7 were treated for heatstroke.

The agency said numbers were the highest ever in northern Japan, particularly in Aomori and Sapporo, with 12,032 people hospitalized in the region.

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42 Comments
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Well, it was hot this year wasn’t it? Phew! What a scorcher. Need to keep hydrated and turn on the AC when at home. That’s what I do, and all fine you see.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

Novel idea: drink fluids, don't get heatstroke. In the hotter months, that means drinking 5% of your bodyweight in water.

It's as simple as that.

And yet, you still see a multitude of Taro/Hanako Citizens relying on 1 x 500ml bottle to fulfill their daily fluid intake requirements... and wondering why there heatstroke is common.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Came very close to heatstroke a couple of times.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Come to think of it, the whole summer felt like one giant heatstroke

12 ( +15 / -3 )

With the withering heat of this past summer it is no surprise. But many of these cases could have been prevented if schools especially had used common sense and not had children out in the blazing sun practicing for their sports day, or some other insignificant event.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Don’t know how to stay hydrated?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

And it will only continue every year as temperatures soar and the population ages. The elderly living on a fixed pension income won't be able to afford the electricity and grocery bills. Meanwhile the politicians are all in their suits with the AC on during their diet sessions while pushing the population to cut back on electricity use.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I noticed some of my J friends rarely drink water instead they chug down mugicha or a pocari(which is not bad unless your drinking it 24/7) and I ask them why just drink water? they'll just grin and tell me water is so tasteless. No wonder why.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It was an exceptionally hot summer in Japan this year. People have to be educated on how to avoid heat stroke in the humid summer months. It’s not just dehydration. It’s also the exposure overheating your body. Drinking green tea is a bad idea because it is a diuretic and can dehydrate you even more.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Novel idea: drink fluids, don't get heatstroke

Depending on the conditions drinking fluids may not be enough , works against dehydration, but if the heat and humidity are high enough it will not help against heatstroke.

Unfortunately this is something that will only become more and more common in the future unless there is a huge education campaign and many practices change. Maybe adopting some of the customs from Okinawa (whose population is much more culturally adapted to the heat) could be a good idea.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Depending on the conditions drinking fluids may not be enough , works against dehydration, but if the heat and humidity are high enough it will not help against heatstroke.

Completely wrong according to every scientific and medical institution in the world.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Water is vital but alone is not sufficient to replace electrolytes lost through perspiration. Some sports drinks like Pocari Sweat actually do a better job than you might think.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Actually it's becoming better understood that as relative humidity increases in conjunction with high temperatures it can impact greatly the body's ability to maintain it's cooling process, resulting in greater heatstroke risk.

This is known as "moist heat stress".

Japan fits this model and doesn't bode well for the future for select portions of the population.

Temperatures now regularly reach high 30s ~ low 40s in many parts of the country with accompanying high humidity - 80%+.

A wet-bulb temperature of 35c (very high) with very high humidity can result in death in 6 hours if precautions are not taken.

Hydration is crucial, but so are lifestyle changes and airconditioning.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Completely wrong according to every scientific and medical institution in the world.

On the contrary, they usually support this warning. It is very easy to provide a source that contradicts your claim.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/symptoms-causes/syc-20373250

When the humidity is high, your sweat can't evaporate as easily, and your body has more trouble cooling itself. This makes you more prone to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. When the heat index is 91 F (33 C) or higher, you should take precautions to keep cool.

One thing is that hydrating can help avoiding heatstroke when the conditions allows for it, another completely different is that this will work no matter what. High enough heat index simply make sweating inefficient to do its function and people are still at risk of heatstroke no matter how much liquids they drink.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Japanese will and are learning the hard way that it beehives them to walk more slowly and avoid the noon sun.

Why not have a siesta?

People that go against this will suffer and there will be deaths.

Eventually people adapt and life goes on

4 ( +8 / -4 )

On the contrary, they usually support this warning. It is very easy to provide a source that contradicts your claim.

And yet nowhere does it say optimal hydration is counteractive to the onset heat stroke. 

In fact, making E=MC2-esque claims - not based on any practical real-world experience - such as "staying hydrated doesn't work so don't bother" is irresponsible, and demonstrates that you not only don't take your own health seriously, but you also don't care about the health of others.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Heatstroke is not the only problem caused by high temperatures and high humidity. Sweating can cause the natural yeast in the skin to create fungus which can spread to a wide area of the body.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Not sure how true it is, but what I had heard years ago is that some meds (e.g. for high blood pressure) and the recommendation to reduce salt consumption contribute significantly to the number of heat stroke cases.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

And yet nowhere does it say optimal hydration is counteractive to the onset heat stroke. 

Nor did I say that, making up an imaginary claim nobody has made instead of addressing the claim that was is a clear example of strawman fallacy.

My claim is that hydration may not be enough to prevent heatstroke depending on the conditions the person is experiencing, you said "every scientific and medical institution of the world" said this was false. It was actually easy to find out a well recognized institution that supported the claim (just not the one you had to make up to have something to refute).

In fact, making E=MC2-esque claims - not based on any practical real-world experience - such as "staying hydrated doesn't work so don't bother" is irresponsible, and demonstrates that you not only don't take your own health seriously, but you also don't care about the health of others.

Again, making up something to refute instead of addressing the actual argument makes it clear you now understand you were wrong. Nobody have said that people should not bother staying hydrated, just that (and the Mayo Clinic says the same) it may not be enough, so the actual irresponsible claim is the one that says that being hydrated is always enough.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Drinking green tea is a bad idea because it is a diuretic and can dehydrate you even more.

I'm pretty sure this is a myth regarding dehydration. You might go to the toilet more, but it will not make you dehydrated. I often drink ice coffee. Its very high in caffeine but is even higher (99% or so) in water.

It was a hot summer and I think the record was in 2018 not this summer only due to more ignorance in 2018. My interpretation is that a near record of cases happened this year despite increased awareness and precautions. A non record number of cases should not be interpreted as summer 2023 being remotely pleasant, because it certainly wasn't.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It is the second highest number on record after 95,137 in 2018

Good to see the numbers going down the last 6 years.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Good to see the numbers going down the last 6 years.

The numbers are going up not down, even with measures to educate the people against the risks.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I always heed heat-stroke warnings.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Nope. Numbers going down

If several years have increasing number of cases that still means the trend is for cases to be higher and higher being the second straight year where the figure tops 91,000 (that did not happen before) is another way to prove this.

That this year were record high in northern Japan is yet another indicator that the numbers are going up.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

That this year were record high in northern Japan is yet another indicator that the numbers are going up.

No, and that would mean the numbers are going down in other parts of Japan because the numbers on the whole are less than in 2018 according to the experts and government data.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

No, and that would mean the numbers are going down in other parts of Japan because the numbers on the whole are less than in 2018 according to the experts and government data.

Still no, consecutive years with high temperatures, record high temperatures on the northern part of Japan still means the trend is going upwards, and again this comes even with increased awareness about the measures to prevent heat related health problems, so the claim that the trend is going downwards is still mistaken.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Still no, consecutive years with high temperatures, record high temperatures on the northern part of Japan still means the trend is going upwards, and again this comes even with increased awareness about the measures to prevent heat related health problems, so the claim that the trend is going downwards is still mistaken.

It is public knowledge according to the Japanese government that the highest number on record is 95,137 in 2018, and in the five consecutive years after that, the numbers have never hit that high again.

And thank goodies for that! Less waiting time if I have to go to the clinic for something.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

 is public knowledge according to the Japanese government that the highest number on record is 95,137 in 2018, and in the five consecutive years after that, the numbers have never hit that high again.

Still no, consecutive years with high temperatures, record high temperatures on the northern part of Japan still means the trend is going upwards, and again this comes even with increased awareness about the measures to prevent heat related health problems, so the claim that the trend is going downwards is still mistaken.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Still no, consecutive years with high temperatures, record high temperatures on the northern part of Japan still means the trend is going upwards,

Still wrong since none of those years have reached the 2018 numbers.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Still wrong since none of those years have reached the 2018 numbers.

Ignoring all the facts that you are quoting do not make them disappear, they are still reason enough to say the trend is going upwards, not downwards, specially because there is an increase of awareness, so an important reduction would be natural, leaving arguments outside of the text you quote do not make them disappear either.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Ignoring all the facts that you are quoting do not make them disappear, they are still reason enough to say the trend is going upwards, not downwards, specially because there is an increase of awareness, so an important reduction would be natural, leaving arguments outside of the text you quote do not make them disappear either.

2018 must have been a really hot one!

Thankful the numbers haven't reached what they were then.

It is the second highest number on record after 95,137 in 2018,

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

2018 must have been a really hot one!

Thankful the numbers haven't reached what they were then.

Not really something to be thankful about since the trend is clearly rising and nothing indicates this trend will be interrupted in the future, the fact that consecutive years have been recorded as extremely high, and that the number of cases is a record in the northern part of the country is clearly something to worry about.

Specially since the current efforts to educate the population would be enough to make the trend a descending one, that this is not happening talks about the importance of the increase.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Running the ac at 28 when it’s 35+ out isn’t relaxing at all. Especially with the weird habit of opening the windows as well “because cold air isn’t good for you” or some nonsense.

No wonder everyone passes out in this country. Turn the ac to 20 or less, close the window. “But it will make the electricity bill more expensive!” So will a trip to the hospital…

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Come on chaps.

We all know the real reason for heatstroke/sunstroke/heat exhaustion.

It's purely cultural.

Gambare spirit during the peak heat of the day.

Nothing we expats can influence.

Let them be.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No wonder everyone passes out in this country. Turn the ac to 20 or less, close the window. “But it will make the electricity bill more expensive!” So will a trip to the hospital…

Of course there is no need to go to extremes, depending on the place a really good cost/benefit solution can be achieved, specially with the new ACs and proper maintenance. Convincing someone to spend 1-2000 yen more on electricity a month to be safe is much easier than just telling them to spend "as much as necessary".

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It is the second highest number on record after 95,137 in 2018, and the second straight year that the number surpassed 91,000, the agency said. 

Good news the numbers are down. Getting cooler now too.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The numbers are not down, the trend is towards increasing, which is also the trend for the days where heatstroke becomes an important risk. Cooler days becoming less frequent means more cases of heat related problems.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The numbers are not down, 

Math is tough I guess for you:

 91,467 is lower than 2018.

*It is the second highest number on record after 95,137 in 2018, and the second straight year that the number surpassed 91,000, the agency said. *

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Math is tough I guess for you:

Trying to ignore a trend that is clearly going up (with consecutive years being high) do not support your claim. The numbers are going up according to the article and the Agency reporting the deaths is clearly worried specially since the numbers were highest ever in the northern region of Japan.

Just calling the Fire and Disaster Management Agency wrong do not make it so, they are professionals that work with these kind of patients.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Trying to ignore basic numbers is not a good scientific approach

Yet that is precisely what you are trying to do when you can't even address the numbers mentioned in the article such as the highest ever numbers in northern Japan or the two consecutive years with numbers surpassing 91,000 which clearly prove the trend is going upward. The agency is worried for a reason just pretending they must be wrong without any actual evidence is not a rational argument to make.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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