Possibly for the first time in the world, a doctor has diagnosed a patient with suffering from ‘climate change’.
Dr. Kyle Merritt, who works in British Columbia, was recently responsible for the diagnosis of an elderly patient who was struggling with asthma.
Coming after Canada saw the hottest temperatures on record earlier this summer, with police attributing dozens of sudden deaths in-part to the high heat, the doctor had no qualms about his decision: climate change is to blame.
Merritt, whose diagnosis has seen the launch of Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health, explained the patient is in her 70s and has diabetes. ‘She has some heart failure… she lives in a trailer, no air conditioning. All of her health problems have all been worsened. And she’s really struggling to stay hydrated,’ he told Glacier Media, as per The Independent.
‘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. It’s me trying to just… process what I’m seeing.’
In June, Canada experienced temperatures of 49.6C in British Columbia, something ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change, experts said.
‘Without the additional greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, in the statistics that we have available with our models, and also the statistical models based on observations, such an event just does not occur. Or if an event like this occurs, it occurs once in a million times, which is the statistical equivalent of never,’ Dr Friederike Otto, from the University of Oxford, earlier told BBC News.
The area has also seen some of its worst blazes, with more than 1,600 fires burning nearly 8,700 square kilometres of land this year alone. In turn, air quality in British Columbia is 43 times worse than earlier acceptable levels.
‘We’re in the emergency department, we look after everybody, from the most privileged to the most vulnerable, from cradle to grave, we see everybody. And it’s hard to see people, especially the most vulnerable people in our society, being affected. It’s frustrating,’ Merritt added.
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