Emergency Room Visits for Winter Hazards Tracked with Oregon Health Authority Dashboard  –  Take a Look..

Emergency visits for winter hazards tracked with new OHA dashboard

Interactive graphs offer data on carbon monoxide exposures, falls on slippery surfaces, and asthma-like and cold weather-related illnesses

PORTLAND, Ore. – In June, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) launched data dashboards to help people track common summer-related hazards such as heat-related illnesses and wildfire smoke exposure. Now, winter-related hazards, such as frostbite, wood stove-induced asthma and ice-triggered falls, have their own interactive dashboards.

Yesterday, OHA’s Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention section published the Oregon ESSENCE Winter Hazard Report dashboard. It provides data on daily reports to Oregon emergency departments and urgent care center visits for four injury and illness categories:

  • Asthma-like illness due to poor air quality, smoke from wood stoves and air inversions.
  • Cold weather-related illnesses, such as hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Carbon monoxide exposure from portable gas-powered generators used indoors, and defective furnaces.
  • Falls due to slippery surfaces, such as icy or snowy sidewalks and driveways.

“ESSENCE data help OHA and its local public health and community partners understand the health effects of winter hazards, including extreme weather and other emergencies,” said Tom Jeanne, M.D., M.P.H., deputy state health officer and epidemiologist at OHA. “These data show us what causes people to seek emergency medical care during the winter, which then drives our messaging and resources.”

The data come from reports to the Oregon ESSENCE database. ESSENCE – Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics – allows public health officials and hospitals to monitor, in real time, what is happening in emergency departments and urgent care centers across the state before, during and after a public health emergency.

Users of the winter hazards dashboards can hover their cursor over a section of the interactive graphs in each category to view the number of emergency department or urgent care clinic visits by date in a given year. Users can also select data sets by year, going back to the winter of 2018-2019. The dashboard page under each tab also contains a description of the injury or illness, the groups most at risk, and how it can be treated or prevented.

The dashboard will be updated weekly through the winter.

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