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Keeping surgical instruments sterile in the cigar-like stench of a wildfire isn’t easy. For Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an anesthesiologist in Alberta and president of the Canadian Medical Association, it has proven impossible. During abnormally large and smoky wildfire seasons, Lafontaine’s hospital in Grande Prairie has been forced to shut down its operating theatres.
“I never thought I would see this in my life,” he recalls in a statement on the CMA’s website. “These are very real effects on people’s lives.”
Climate change is already upending emergency respo
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