Recently Greene Memorial Hospital has seen an increase in Emergency Room visits by people age 65 and over. The chief complaint has been unusual fatigue/weakness, and is related to air quality.
The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency, or RAPCA, issued an Air Pollution Advisory last Friday which will continue at least through today. During an Air Pollution Advisory RAPCA recommends that members of sensitive groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor activities. These groups include children, seniors, anyone with respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD, and anyone with heart disease.
In addition to fatigue or weakness, symptoms can include coughing, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans. People who have heart disease and experience these symptoms should contact their health care provider.
We can check on current air quality in a variety of ways:
- Local news channels include air quality in their weather reports.
- The Dayton Daily News includes an alert on the top right corner of the paper if there is an air quality advisory.
- RAPCA offers an up-to-date air quality index on their website (), Facebook and Twitter.
- AirNow () is administered by the EPA, and its EnviroFlash service sends out text or email alerts. Sign up at http://www.enviroflash.info/.
- There are numerous air quality apps for smart phones.
If you are aware of anyone at risk of problems due to air quality we encourage you to check on them. This is likely to be an issue multiple times this summer!