Nearly 500 Deaths Per Year Caused by Extreme Heat in Quebec

Extreme heat significantly impacts Quebec’s health-care system, according to a report published by the National Institute for Scientific Research on Wednesday. The report highlights various mortality and morbidity statistics within the province.

The INRS findings indicate that high temperatures from May to September in Quebec result in approximately 470 deaths and 225 hospitalizations annually. Additionally, there are around 36,000 heat-related emergency room visits and 7,200 ambulance trips.

The province’s 811 Info-Santé health line also experiences a spike in calls, with 15,000 being temperature-related.

Extreme heat waves are defined as periods of high temperatures that have a statistically significant effect on health and last at least three consecutive days.

The report notes that the health-care system’s burden occurs on the hottest five percent of days within the May to September period. During these times, there are an estimated 200 deaths, 170 hospitalizations, 6,200 ER visits, 1,500 ambulance trips, and 3,300 calls to Info-Santé due to the heat.

Canadian scientists have warned that the country’s future includes longer and more intense summer heat waves, which can also directly impact mental health, with reports indicating an increase in violence during such periods.

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