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Canadian woman becomes world’s first patient to be diagnosed with ‘climate change’

Dr Kyle Merritt, head of the Kootenay Lake Hospital’s emergency room (ER) department, has seen multiple cases where the record heat has exacerbated pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, etc.

November 09, 2021 / 05:08 PM IST
Representative image. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)

Representative image. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)

A Canadian woman in her 70s could be the first patient to be ever diagnosed as suffering from 'climate change'. Doctors of the patient was facing breathing issues blame her health condition on the deadly heatwaves earlier this year.

Dr Kyle Merritt, head of the Kootenay Lake Hospital’s emergency room (ER) department, has seen multiple cases where the record heat has exacerbated pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, etc.

The emergency room doctor diagnosed the patient and told Times Colonist about the aggravated toll of the heatwaves on patients battling multiple health problems at once.

“She has diabetes. She has some heart failure. … She lives in a trailer, no air conditioning,” said Merritt of the senior patient. “All of her health problems have all been worsened. And she's really struggling to stay hydrated.”

Hundreds of people have died in a heatwave that has broken Canadian heat records, including an all-time high of 49.6 degrees Celsius in Lytton, British Columbia, on June 29.

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Dr Merritt then reached out to his counterparts in other hospitals only to find out the situation was worse than he had imagined.

When asked why he made the unexpected diagnosis, Dr Merritt is quoted in the article as saying: “If we’re not looking at the underlying cause, and we’re just treating the symptoms, we’re just gonna keep falling further and further behind.”

He then went on to put together a collective named Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health, which aims at helping another physician to establish a more straightforward link between their patients’ health and climate change.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 9, 2021 05:08 pm

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