California chokes: Hospitals are inundated and thousands of face masks are requested to deal with smoke from the rash of wildfires that are STILL spreading, have seen 212,000 people evacuated and have left one woman dead

Saturday, December 9, 2017
By Paul Martin

Southern California hospitals have been hit hard with patients suffering breathing problems during wildfires
Smoke particles can trigger breathing problems and even cause heart attacks if they get into the bloodstream
A woman, 70, died after crashing her car, suffering head trauma, breathing in smoke and being burned
Locals are demanding face masks – but they need special N95 breathing masks; surgeons’ masks are useless
Most fires remain uncontrolled, although winds have died down since Thursday, making firefighting easier
Donald Trump has freed up additional federal funding for California at the request of Governor Jerry Brown

9 December 2017

The wildfires raging through California have burned down houses, fields and forests, and killed at least one person – but even those miles from the terrifying flames have been affected.

Hospitals across Southern California have been inundated with patients as young as five suffering from breathing problems as the week-long fires fill the air with choking smoke and floating ash.

Smoke also played a part in the death of an elderly woman, who is the first – and so far only – victim of the five-day-long crisis, the LA Times reported Friday.

Virginia Pesola, 70, of Santa Paula, was found dead in a car in Ventura on Wednesday; officials said she had been fleeing the Thomas Fire – the oldest and biggest of the blazes – when she died.

She was involved in a crash along an evacuation route, and had been reported missing, but it was only on Friday that her death, and its connection to the fires, was made public.

A Ventura county medical examiner said that Pesola had died of a combination of blunt force trauma with terminal smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

Although smoke was not the sole contributor to her death, it has been a severe problem for many in Southern California, with hospitals across the state admitting people affected by the blaze.

Even people in areas with no visible smoke can be affected, as the real concern is the tiny, invisible pm2.5 particles, which are small enough to get into the bloodstream.

Not only can they cause trouble for people with lung problems like asthma or emphysema, they can also trigger heart attacks in people who are susceptible.

Air quality rating site AirNow showed affected areas to be as high as 151 on Friday night; anything over 100 is considered unhealthy. Some locations in Ventura Country were as high as 331 on Friday.

That’s put a huge strain on area hospitals, who must now accommodate those affected by the low-lying choking clouds. Even staying indoors does not necessarily substantially reduce the pm2.5 count.

Patents as young as five have been submitted with breathing problems, while asthma attacks are on the rise. The San Fernando Valley is also suffering from poor air quality caused by the fires, officials say.

Health officials are advising everyone to stay indoors as much as possible, even when smoke cannot be seen or smelled, as the pm2.5 particles are so small that they can be imperceptible without proper equipment.

Outdoor activity, particularly exercise or anything that causes heavy breathing, should be limited, and if possible air filters or AC that recirculates inside air should be used.

Masks can also protect against the smoke – but they need to be N95 masks, which means that they filter out 95 per cent of particulate matter. Surgeons’ masks and covering mouths with clothing will do nothing.

The demand for masks that can protect against the smoke is so great that 100 people were seen lining up outside a mall in Carpinteria, Santa Barbera, to collect free masks, the LA Times reported.

Also on Friday, President Donald Trump declared an emergency at the request of California Governor Jerry Brown.

The Rest…HERE

Leave a Reply

Join the revolution in 2018. Revolution Radio is 100% volunteer ran. Any contributions are greatly appreciated. God bless!

Follow us on Twitter