Heat Wave in Canada on July 05 2018 05:46 AM (UTC).
Fifty-three deaths in Montreal were potentially caused by the record-breaking heat wave that took over the city in early July, says a new report by the public health department released Wednesday. But that number could continue to rise. The total presented in the department's preliminary report does not include deaths that occurred in hospitals, only those that occurred within the community from June 30 to July 8, said Dr. David Kaiser, a physician with Sante Montreal. They still have to go through hospital records to determine which deaths may have been heat-related. He expects that most cases will be of people who were brought to hospitals after being exposed to the heat and died shortly after. More than 5,400 people were taken to hospitals by ambulance throughout the heat wave, says the public health department's report. At the time, Urgences-Sante reported that the number of calls they received was up 30 per cent. Kaiser said he doesn't expect the death toll to increase substantially. After the 2010 heat wave, which saw temperatures of more than 35 C for five days, he said only 15 per cent of the 106 deaths occurred in hospitals. Overall, Kaiser said Montreal saw 10 to 15 more deaths per day during the recent heat wave. As of July 9, another 34 deaths were reported elsewhere in Quebec. The province's Ministry of Health and Social Services said a final province-wide death toll will be released in the fall. The report says three-quarters of people who died lived alone and that a significant portion of the deaths were related to drug and alcohol consumption. It also says that vulnerable populations were hit the hardest, and recommends that the public health department collaborate with community groups to protect these individuals as heat waves become more common. Kaiser said the department looks for three elements to determine whether a death was heat-related. First, he said, they look for underlying medical conditions, both physical (such as heart disease and diabetes) and mental, or whether the person had a history of drug or alcohol abuse. The next indicator would be the environment the person was found in, which Kaiser said was most often apartments without air conditioning located in hotter areas of the city. A map included in the report shows Montreal's largest "heat islands" to be around the city's southeastern edge. Finally, Kaiser said they try to determine whether the individual was socially isolated, which he said tends to occur the most to individuals who live in rooming houses.
Health authorities say up to 70 people may have died in Quebec as a result of heat-related complications since the beginning of an early July heat wave that saw temperatures climb to more than 40 C with the humidex. Temperatures have since cooled off across the province and a spokesperson with Quebec's Public Health Department says Monday it would no longer be giving updates on heat-related deaths because "the situation is back to normal." Most of the deaths occurred in Montreal, with 34 cases reported to authorities. The city's morgue became so overcrowded during the heat wave that it partnered with a funeral home, where it sent bodies for storage. Montreal's public health office says the majority of people who died in the city during the heat wave were over 60 and suffered from chronic illnesses. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says no patients died in government-run health-care centres.
Officials say five more people have died in Montreal as a result of extreme heat and humidity after a week of record-breaking temperatures. Montreal public health officials said Saturday that a total of 33 people have died from the heat in the city. Dr. David Kaiser says the majority of people who have died were over the age of "50 and 60 years old." On Friday, provincial officials said 54 people had died province-wide, but they could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday. Although the temperature was down over the weekend, Kaiser says the message to people in Montreal stays the same. He encourages them to check on their neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable and often isolated. Environment Canada has lifted heat warnings for the affected regions, including Quebec, for the next several days.
A blistering heat swept through parts of Canada this week, killing 54 people in the province of Quebec, according to health officials. Twenty-eight of the deaths were in Montreal, said Marie-Claude Lacasse with the Ministry of Health. Many of the victims were older than 50, male, living alone and had no air conditioning, said Dr. David Kaiser of Montreal's Regional Public Health Department. CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said the region has seen record high temperatures and high humidity since Sunday. Temperatures were in the mid-90s for Montreal on Sunday and Monday, about 20 degrees higher than the normal temperatures this time of year. Despite cooler weather Friday, Stefan Overhoff, chief operating officer of Urgences-sante ambulance service, said people who experienced the week's intense heat could still be susceptible to health problems, according to CNN news partner CTV. People with chronic illness are particularly at risk, said Nicola Dulisse, head of Urgences-sante. These people already have underlying medical conditions such as cardiac conditions and diabetes, Dulisse told CTV. "Things that have already weakened (their) systems. So now we're adding another blow to that, and the blow is recurrent over multiple days." "The other issue is folks that are alone," Dulisse added. "Obviously when we get there and the person may have passed, they're very rarely already with family. So the biggest factor is: Are you with and are you surrounded by people that can support each other?" Dulisse encouraged family, friends and neighbors to do "regular check-ins" on people who are older or sick. Earlier this week, health officials began door-to-door checks on vulnerable people. Montreal health officials also opened 19 cooling stations in public health and social services buildings across the city and asked people to call public transport services to get a ride to one of the air-conditioned centers. Environment Canada lifted heat warnings Friday, despite expectations that temperatures will once again rise early next week. "The higher temperatures and humid Sunday and Monday will mostly affect southern Quebec," said Serge Mainville of Environment Canada, according to CNN news partner CBC. Meanwhile, a dangerous heat wave is expected to grip California and parts of the southwest Friday and into the weekend, threatening millions of people and likely fueling existing wildfires in the United States.