Hudson Valley emergency workers, doctors report uptick in health issues due to smoke

A pulmonologist at Montefiore Nyack says there's been an increase in patients with worsening respiratory symptoms as well as anxiety because of the smoke, adding that patients are using their inhalers more now than usual.

News 12 Staff

Jun 7, 2023, 10:19 PM

Updated 348 days ago

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Emergency workers and doctors say the smoky haze across Hudson Valley skies has had an impact on people’s health this week.
Chris Kear, Rockland County’s director of Fire and Emergency Services, tells News 12 there were a total of 29 calls for people smelling something burning or seeing smoke outside between early Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning.  
Kear says the volume of those calls were more than usual because of the Canadian wildfires. 
Tim Egan, with Rockland Paramedics, says they responded to more incidents this week compared to last week. Breathing problems went from seven last week to 19 this week and there were three cardiac issues last week compared to 19 so far this week. 
"I think there could be a correlation between the weather that we're seeing and these types of complaints,” Egan says. 
At this time, Good Samaritan Hospital's emergency room has not seen an increase in respiratory problems, but a pulmonologist there told News 12 they have seen a few patients with chronic conditions like asthma and COPD come in with a mild increase in their symptoms.
A pulmonologist at Montefiore Nyack says there's been an increase in patients with worsening respiratory symptoms as well as anxiety because of the smoke, adding that patients are using their inhalers more now than usual. 
Medical experts are suggesting people with breathing problems to stay inside.


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