A Record-Breaking Heat Wave Sent Hundreds Of People To The Hospital In Washington And Oregon

In the Pacific Northwest, the record-breaking heat wave is pushing people's bodies to the limits. More than 1,100 people have been admitted to hospital with heat-related illnesses in the last few days.Scientists and health experts agree that climate change is responsible for this. And the future will only bring more of it.In a statement, Jeff Duchin, a Seattle-based health officer for Public Health, stated that the record-breaking extreme heat we are experiencing is only one example of our climate crisis. He also spoke out about how it impacts human health. Climate change is a serious health crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emission is vital.According to Cory Portner (a spokesperson for the Washington Department of Health), 676 patients were admitted to Washington state hospitals for heat-related illnesses.This is a shockingly high death toll. According to state data, only two of the 51 summer heat-related hospitalizations in Washington were more than 51 between 2000 and 2018.According to a state report, 459 people sought treatment for heat illness in Oregon's emergency rooms or urgent care clinics.Between Friday and Sunday, Portland and the surrounding Multnomah counties received at least 97 heat illness emergency visits.We would normally expect 1 to 2 heat illness visits in the same period. It is not uncommon for the County have zero heat illness visits on a typical summerday, Kate Yeiser (a spokesperson for Multnomah county) told BuzzFeed News via email.In addition, over 400 calls were received by the Emergency Medical Services Department of the county during this time. Yeiser stated that although we can't determine the exact number of calls related to heat, it is not unusual for our county.Extreme heat can be deadly and has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 Americans since 1979. Everybody is at risk for heat exhaustion, or heatstroke, which can cause high fevers, nausea, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness.Because their bodies can't regulate their internal temperature, certain groups of people are more susceptible to heat stress, including babies and children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Others are more exposed to heat because of their occupations or lack of access to air conditioning.This area of the country isn't ready for such extreme heat. Seattle is an example of this. Only 44% of homes in Seattle have air conditioning due to its historically mild temperatures. According to the Seattle Times, it is one of the most air-conditioned cities.Additional impacts have been caused by the skyrocketing number of emergency calls and hospital visits to the Pacific Northwest. The heat has caused cracks in roads and streets, closing them and affecting traffic. Even flights are affected. Restaurants have been closed. Air conditioners and fans are in short supply. Many people have sought refuge at air-conditioned libraries and malls.These extreme heats have broken all-time records day after day.According to a tweet by the Portland division, the National Weather Service, the Portland Airport reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit Monday, June 28. This is a new record in the city. This surpasses the 112 degree record set on the previous day.