PORTLAND, Ore. — Clackamas County reported its first suspected heat-delated death during the ongoing heat wave on Saturday, the seventh such death statewide this week.
According to the Saturday update from Clackamas County, an elderly man was found dead in his home with an air conditioner that was not functioning. The county medical examiner's office is now investigating the case.
"Community members are encouraged to check on their neighbors during this heatwave. Especially those who are more vulnerable to heat related illness and death," Clackamas County officials said in a statement.
As of Saturday afternoon, the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office had acknowledged seven suspected heat-related deaths since the beginning of this week's Pacific Northwest heat wave.
Three of the deaths occurred in Portland on July 25, July 27 and July 28. A fourth death was reported in Eastern Oregon's Umatilla County on July 26.
Two more deaths happened in Marion County on July 28 and July 29. The Clackamas County death also happened on July 29.
"This designation as a heat-related death is preliminary and further investigation may reveal a cause of death that’s unrelated to hyperthermia," the state medical examiner said in a news release.
The official cause of death may not be confirmed until several months after the individual's deaths.
The state has requested that county medical examiners keep track of deaths that are potentially related to the heat wave.
This week's heat wave comes a little more than a year after the historic heat dome event in 2021, which topped out at 116 degrees and resulted in the deaths of nearly 100 people.
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