The Current

Montreal heat wave: People with health conditions, no air conditioning at most risk

Since Monday, firefighters and police have been working their way through neighbourhoods to check on vulnerable residents suffering in the extreme heat that has been the cause of 11 deaths to date.

'Deaths that we have identified are in a context of no air conditioning,' says Quebec health official

Environment Canada issued an extreme heat warning for the Greater Montreal area predicting humidex values to reach 43 C on Thursday. (Radio-Canada)

Read story transcript

Montreal firefighters and police have been rolling out its emergency response efforts looking for people who may be at risk of health complications during this extreme heat wave.

Eleven people have died in the city as a result of the heat, according to a Quebec public health official.

"All of the deaths that we have identified are in a context of no air conditioning and where the measured temperature when the paramedics arrive is very high. So we have temperatures 33, 35, 36 above 40 C inside," Dr. David Kaiser told The Current's guest host Mike Finnerty.

"After a couple of days of being hot and living in a place that has no air conditioning, the heat just overwhelms the body's capacity to adapt."

Kaiser said people with underlying medical problems such as chronic diseases, diabetes, heart issues or mental health problems living in spaces with no air conditioning are the most vulnerable.

The extreme heat is not subsiding. Environment Canada's heat warning for the Greater Montreal Area predicts humidex values will reach near 40 C on Wednesday, and as high as 43 C on Thursday.

Listen to the full discussion near the top of this page.

This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica Linzey.


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