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September 1994

Heat-Related Deaths—Philadelphia and United States, 1993-1994

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(9):1107-1108. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690090025002

DURING June 1994, temperatures across the United States were higher than usual. Since June 13, record high temperatures (above 90 F [32.2 C]) with humidities of 50%-60% have occurred in the northeastern United States.1 During July 1-14, 1993, the eastern United States also experienced a severe heat wave with high temperatures (93 F-101F [33.9-38.3 C]) and high humidity (36%-58%).2 During July 6-14, 1993, in Philadelphia, medical examiners (MEs) determined 118 deaths were heatrelated.* This report describes heatrelated deaths that occurred in Philadelphia during 1993 and 1994 and summarizes risk factors for heatrelated illness and death.

Case 1.  On June 16, 1994, a 33year-old man who had collapsed on a street was found by emergency personnel and taken to an emergency department; he was dead on arrival. His core body temperature was 108 F (42.2 C). Although the pri- mary (i.e., immediate or underlying) cause of death was an

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