Air quality sending more people to the hospital - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Air quality sending more people to the hospital

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NBC RIGHT NOW.-- Local hospitals are saying they've seen an increase in patients with chronic illnesses like asthma and COPD due to the poor air quality. Right now, the air is still unhealthy, or unhealthy for sensitive groups, for most of the region. 

We spoke with Rosemary Dawson, a Richland woman who had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance on Friday night. She says that she had a severe asthma attack after spending too much time outside over the course of the week. 

"I had turned completely white... Was gasping for air," Rosemary told NBC Right Now, "It ended up taking four treatments. One in the ambulance and three at the hospital."

Rosemary is feeling better, but she and her husband are now wearing hospital masks every time they go outside- something we can all do to ensure safety until the air clears. However, the best way to stay safe until the smoke clears, is to limit time spent outdoors. 

At this point, the air quality alert is in effect until Wednesday at noon.