Doctors alarmed by surge in hospital visits as toxic smoke engulfs west coast

Northern California health system reports surge in cases as region endures weeks of dangerous air

A month after hundreds of wildfires started spewing toxic smoke along the entire west coast, doctors are seeing the alarming health effects of air pollution piling up.

In northern California’s Stanford Health Care system, hospital admissions have jumped by 12% in recent weeks, including a stunning 43% jump in cerebrovascular conditions such as strokes. In Oregon, health officials reported nearly one out of 10 people visiting the emergency room had asthma-like conditions due to the smoke. And in San Francisco, doctors had to cancel their clinics for recovering Covid-19 patients, because the air was so unhealthy that just getting to their appointments could make patients more sick.

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