Climate Change: Coming to your hospital soon

  1. Climate change is affecting Planet Earth like never before. Learn about how the air, and water have been affected. Also, how autism is implicated in climate change. Your next patient: Planet Earth.

    Climate Change: Coming to your hospital soon

    Climate change is reawakening germs that have been dormant for years. As nurses, we may not need to take Microbiology again, but we should be cognizant of how the environment affects us and impacts the patient population we see daily.

    According to the BBC, soil is melting allowing bacteria and viruses to reemerge, such as anthrax. This is happening due to frozen permafrost soil thawing and then being melted due to climate change. In the Arctic Circle, in a far-off area called the Yamal Peninsula, death has already occurred due to anthrax. A 12-year-old boy perished, and 20 individuals were hospitalized due to this devastating illness.

    "Heat Death"

    Another area of concern is "heat death". In the jungle, the humidity is over 90 percent. Once humans start walking around, the temperature rises to 105 degrees. This can cause death to the individual. These temperatures may not be compatible with life. Food cannot exist in this extreme heat. Less food is produced in extreme temperatures. The United Nations put out a recent warning about current famine in parts of the world like Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen. Global warming will be responsible for a 50 percent drop in crop availability by the end of this century. A solution that has been proposed, to move the products to other parts of the world doesn't work because of poor soil quality.

    The Brain and Autism

    Currently, the amount of carbon dioxide is 400 parts per million. By the year 2100, it will be at 1000 parts per million. Sure, we may not be around to witness this, but surely, the residents of Planet Earth will be here. Impaired brain function will result, up to 21 percent. In addition, our projected time on earth will decline. This is due to ozone which impacts our lifespan. Even before the end of the century, by 2090, the air will be dangerous to breathe. Autism is now on the rise and guess what? Increased ozone in the atmosphere has been implicated in autism. Air pollution due to smog is another problem due to climate change. In China in 2013, there was an "air-pocalypse". 33 percent of the deaths in China were attributed to this problem that year.

    The Grapes of Wrath Part 2?

    Most of us read The Grapes of Wrath in high school or college. Do we want to go through this scenario again? In a few short years, by 2080, Europe will be in the middle of a drought. This will happen due to an increase in greenhouse gas which is taking over the atmosphere in this part of the world. Not just Europe will be affected. NASA also projected in 2015 that a significant drought will hit the American plains and will rival any drought that has occurred in a thousand years. The Middle East, which for this projection includes Iraq and Syria, as well as sections of South America, Australia and Africa will also suffer from horrific drought conditions.

    Flooding and Business

    In Miami Beach, there has already been flooding which has affected retail business sales. Well, this city is not alone. Global warming will have an impact on the sea level. It will cause it to rise. This will directly cause flooding. This is significant since one-third of this country's cities are coastal. The devastation will continue and have a direct effect on related businesses. This will include energy plants, such as your local electric company. In addition, food sources such as fisheries, and farms that produce rice will be impacted. Seaports that bring consumer products, which could also be electronics, will be affected. Navy shipyards and bases where our military lives and works will also feel this flooding. By the end of the current century, there will be a 4-foot to 10-foot rise in sea level. This statement alone is enough to cause anxiety since currently upwards of 600 million people reside within 10 feet of sea level.

    The End of Planet Earth?

    The worst-case scenario from climate change concerns "ocean acidification". This is related to the ocean picking up the carbon dioxide from the sky. Coral reefs are dying already due to this process. This is cause for alarm since coral reefs are the source of food for 500 billion individuals worldwide. Toxic gases are expelled into the atmosphere. The result is destruction of the earth as we know it today.

    Next Patient: Planet Earth

    The acuity of patients we see every day in the ER, the ICUs and the floors can all be traced back to how the planet is decomposing due to climate change. There is a cause and effect to all these scenarios and we are starting to experience all the fallout now.

    REFERENCES
    From website: Todays Weather Now | Daily weather updates and breaking weather alerts pushed straight to your device?
    Published August 2018. Accessed August 15, 2018.
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  2. Poll: Will climate change affect patient acuity?

    • Yes

      50.00% 3
    • No

      16.67% 1
    • Maybe

      33.33% 2
    • Never

      0% 0
    6 Votes

  3. Visit Debi Fischer profile page

    About Debi Fischer, BSN, RN

    Debi Fischer RN, BA, BSN, MSW, LSCW is a nurse in a surgical oncology step down unit. Prior to that she worked in orthopedics and neurology. She has earned a master’s degree in social work and is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

    Joined: Jun '14; Posts: 81; Likes: 98

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    40 Comments

  4. by   nursej22
    I work in public health and have seen articles about the spread of mosquito and tick borne diseases because of milder, warmer conditions in North America.

    Estimated range of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the US | Zika virus | CDC
  5. by   elkpark
    "in a few short years, by 2080"? By my math, 2080 is 62 years away. Since when is 62 "a few"? Also, after all the dramatic and alarmist predictions in the article, the one "reference" is a link to a weather prediction website. I see a dramatic click-bait headline (The Terrifying Truth About Climate Change!), but no actual article with actual sources. Am I supposed to go comb the internet myself to figure out how legitimate the author's claims and concerns may be? No, thanks.
  6. by   tnbutterfly
    In the grand scheme of time, 62 is a relatively short span of time.
  7. by   Leader25
    I am sorry to say been there done that this type of alarming scare had us totally freaking out in the late 60's,early 70's.The book called POPULATION BOMB (by Dr.Paul Ehrlich- appearing often on Carson show scaring the daylights out of us.) had us in a state where flushing the toilet made us feel guilty about water use.This really affected our decisions on family size,adoption, political involvement, volunteering with John Kennedy jr.and other naive actions too embarrassing to mention.

    And so ..what happened? Nothing .People continue to make pigs of themselves,drive Hummers,build bigger , consume ,pollute, more.

    I am not jumping onto this bandwagon ,this time I just observe.
    Last edit by Leader25 on Sep 5 : Reason: add remark
  8. by   Daisy4RN
    I am not sure what she is trying to say here. Are people getting sick because of climate change or are they sick already but climate change is causing a higher acuity of the particular illness? I tried to read the article referenced but was unable to see it. I think we all should care for the earth but rationally and also research the outcome of a particular intervention to see if it is working. For instance, is what we are doing in the US (which is costly to the populace) making any difference in relation to what other countries are (not) doing. Is banning straws in California doing anything in relation to how many water bottles people use and throw away.
  9. by   nursej22
    Quote from Leader25
    I am sorry to say been there done that this type of alarming scare had us totally freaking out in the late 60's,early 70's.The book called POPULATION BOMB (by Dr.Paul Ehrlich- appearing often on Carson show scaring the daylights out of us.) had us in a state where flushing the toilet made us feel guilty about water use.This really affected our decisions on family size,adoption, political involvement, volunteering with John Kennedy jr.and other naive actions too embarrassing to mention.

    And so ..what happened? Nothing .People continue to make pigs of themselves,drive Hummers,build bigger , consume ,pollute, more.

    I am not jumping onto this bandwagon ,this time I just observe.
    I disagree. In the 60's we would not have even thought about recycling. A family of 10 was not that unusual, but now, at least in my area, it is. As a child, one of my chores was to burn the household trash. Today many homes have solar panels. Many of us drive fuel efficient vehicles, use mass transit or bicycle.

    But climate continues to change, but I think it is possible to slow it. I have hope that studies showing pollution and pesticides contribute to childhood disease will increase awareness.

    However, I think our population is dumbing down to where they don't trust science or scientists. They will believe a social media post over a trained health care professional. People want quick, easy answers, and I don't think those exist. One success story is the decrease in cigarette use so change can happen.
  10. by   Daisy4RN
    Quote from nursej22

    But climate continues to change, but I think it is possible to slow it. I have hope that studies showing pollution and pesticides contribute to childhood disease will increase awareness.

    However, I think our population is dumbing down to where they don't trust science or scientists. They will believe a social media post over a trained health care professional. People want quick, easy answers, and I don't think those exist. One success story is the decrease in cigarette use so change can happen.
    I think the studies re: pesticides have already increased awareness.
    When I was growing up in the 60's they actually used to fly over our house and drop pesticide spray. We would be notified so hopefully would be inside and then after would have to clean off cars etc. Very healthy indeed (sarcasm).
    I don't think the population is dumbing down. I think that they do not trust the science because of all the hype and hypocrisy, for example Gore lecturing people to conserve while living in a 20,000sqft house and having a private plane etc. It doesn't fly (no pun intended).
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from Daisy4RN
    I think the studies re: pesticides have already increased awareness.
    When I was growing up in the 60's they actually used to fly over our house and drop pesticide spray. We would be notified so hopefully would be inside and then after would have to clean off cars etc. Very healthy indeed (sarcasm).
    I don't think the population is dumbing down. I think that they do not trust the science because of all the hype and hypocrisy, for example Gore lecturing people to conserve while living in a 20,000sqft house and having a private plane etc. It doesn't fly (no pun intended).
    I realize this is probably a stupid question, but do you have any documentation (preferably not from a right-wing crackpot website) that Al Gore has ever lived in a 20,000 square foot house? Do you have any concept of how large a "house" that would be? Any documentation that he owns (or has owned) a private plane?
  12. by   toomuchbaloney
    Quote from elkpark
    I realize this is probably a stupid question, but do you have any documentation (preferably not from a right-wing crackpot website) that Al Gore has ever lived in a 20,000 square foot house? Do you have any concept of how large a "house" that would be? Any documentation that he owns (or has owned) a private plane?
    None of that right wing bullcrap is relevant to the science anyway. It is simply a way for the deniers to change the subject.
  13. by   elkpark
    Quote from toomuchbaloney
    None of that right wing bullcrap is relevant to the science anyway. It is simply a way for the deniers to change the subject.
    I know that, of course, but I hate to let people just get away with spouting right-wing nonsense as a distraction/deflection without at least challenging the statements.
  14. by   Daisy4RN
    Quote from elkpark
    I realize this is probably a stupid question, but do you have any documentation (preferably not from a right-wing crackpot website) that Al Gore has ever lived in a 20,000 square foot house? Do you have any concept of how large a "house" that would be? Any documentation that he owns (or has owned) a private plane?
    So 20000sqft might be an exaggeration (although it's probably pretty close between all his houses) but my point was that people will not listen when the message is coming from Gore and others who are hypocritical about conserving energy, ie telling people they use too much electric while they (DC/Hollywood etc) have huge houses/mansions and private planes etc which is wasteful.
  15. by   Daisy4RN
    Quote from toomuchbaloney
    None of that right wing bullcrap is relevant to the science anyway. It is simply a way for the deniers to change the subject.
    Did I say anything about (myself) denying the science??

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