How Climate Change Is Putting Doctors In The Hot Seat

BOSTON — A 4-year-old girl was rushed to the emergency room three times in one week for asthma attacks.

An elderly man, who’d been holed up in a top-floor apartment with no air conditioning during a heat wave, showed up at a hospital with a temperature of 106 degrees.

A 27-year-old man arrived in the ER with trouble breathing ― and learned he had end-stage kidney disease, linked to his time as a sugar cane farmer in the sweltering fields of El Salvador.

These patients, whose cases were recounted by doctors, all arrived at Boston-area hospitals in recent years. While the coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of doctor-patient conversations these days, there’s another factor continuing to shape patients’ health: climate change.

Global warming is often associated with dramatic effects such as hurricanes, fires and floods, but patients’ health issues represent the subtler ways that climate change is showing up

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