Doctors have diagnosed a senior citizen from British Columbia suffering from asthma with ‘climate change’. Physicians blame her respiratory condition on heatwaves and poor air quality.
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In a first-of-its-kind case, doctors have diagnosed a Canadian woman facing breathing troubles with “climate change”. The news was first reported by a Canadian newspaper. Her consulting doctor, Dr. Kyle Merritt, noted that he used the term “climate change” for the first time in over ten years while writing the patient’s diagnosis. According to reports, the female patient is in her eighties and lives in a trailer. She was identified with this rare case just after the country was hit by heatwaves. The heatwaves further worsened her already precarious health.
Canada Records Intense Heat
Hundreds of people have died in a heatwave that has broken Canadian weather records. On June 29, temperatures also reached an all-time high of 49.6 degrees Celsius in Lytton, British Columbia.
Dr. Merritt has inspired a group of local doctors to form a body in light of this new case diagnosis. The organization, founded by Dr. Merritt, is called the Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health.
“I’m just trying to make sense of what I’m seeing. We’re at the emergency room, and we take care of everyone, from the most wealthy to the most vulnerable, from birth to death. And it’s difficult to witness anyone, particularly our society’s most vulnerable citizens, being impacted. It’s a pain,” he said in a statement.
Climate Change Links to Health
Dr. Merritt hopes that his actions may assist other physicians in establishing a clearer link between their patients’ health and climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic, a heatwave, wildfires, and air pollution marked Canada’s summer this year.
Scientists around the world have pointed out the health impacts of pollution and climate change causing emissions. Furthermore, there have been several studies linking increasing temperatures to behavioural changes among people. In a 2017 research paper published by the Association of Psychological Science, increasing heat also increases irritability and temper in people. This in turn increases the chances of aggression and violence, worsening mental health and social stability.
At the ongoing COP26 session in Glasgow, the link between public health and climate change has been a heated topic. The United Kingdom is hosting the climate conference, bringing together world leaders and technical titans to develop a worldwide response to the issue of climate change. However, several activists have criticized many of the partnerships and announcements as not being forceful enough to make significant changes. Last week, thousands of young activists also marched on the streets of Glasgow, calling on world leaders to take immediate climate action.
Read more by the DU Express team here.