A Heatwave Can Kill You in 27 Ways
Your organs can be screwed in more ways than one
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2017 12:45 PM CST
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"Dying during a heatwave is like a terror movie with 27 bad endings to choose from."   (Getty Images/MarianVejcik)

(Newser) – "Dying during a heatwave is like a terror movie with 27 bad endings to choose from," says Camilo Mora in a press release—and the Hawaiian researcher has detailed exactly what those 27 ways are. The 21st century has already experienced a rash of deadly heatwaves, from the more than 14,000 people who died in France in 2003 to 2,000-plus victims in India in 2015, and Mora explains that it's relatively easy to list cases of mass heat-related casualties, but answering why people died is less clear. In a paper appearing in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Mora and his colleagues came up with 35 possibilities (by pinpointing five physiological mechanisms that can affect seven vital organs: brain, heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas), looked for heat-related medical evidence of them, and confirmed 27 of them have happened. Here are the five mechanisms, and the organ failure they can trigger:

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