Hundreds of people have died in a heat wave that has broken Canadian heat records, including an all-time high of 49.6 degrees Celsius in Lytton, British Columbia, on June 29. Dr. Kyle Merritt, head of the Kootenay Lake Hospital’s emergency room (ER) department, has seen numerous cases where the record heat has aggravated pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, etc. but this was unusual. 

 A Canadian woman in her 70s could be the first patient to be ever diagnosed as suffering from ‘climate change. Doctors of the patient said that she was facing extensive breathing issues and blame her health condition on the deadly heat waves earlier this year.

 The patient has diabetes and a few issues with the heart. Besides this, she lives in a trailer, with no air conditioning. All of her health problems have all been deteriorated and she’s struggling to stay hydrated. 

To Merritt’s shock, the patient’s health worsened to a huge extent. 

On trying to find out the root reason for this illness, he then went on to put together a collective named Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health, which aims at helping other physicians to establish a more straightforward link between their patients’ health and climate change.

Yet, this is truly astonishing those climates can affect an individual’s health to this extent. It’s high time we start taking action to preserve our mother earth. We also need to take care of our health by drinking enough water and taking precautions as per the guidelines given by the Disaster management department of the particular nation. 

Poosa Ramesh

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