Dr. Don Williams: Show us the medical records

The enviros seem to be trying to push back on JunkScience.com’s “Show us the bodies” challenge. Here, Austin, TX physician Don Williams claims to have treated six children one Saturday in August for ozone-related asthma attacks.

Dr. Williams wrote in the Austin-American Statesman:

On the last Saturday of August, Austin had its highest ozone levels since early June. I was asked again and again to admit children from the ER with severe asthma attacks. Normally, one or two asthmatics may come in throughout my 12 hours of call, and usually they are stable enough to go to a regular ward bed. That day, however, I admitted three young children within two hours of arriving for my shift. All three were struggling so much that they required admission to our Intermediate Care Unit, which is one step from Intensive Care. Throughout the day, three more were admitted to the unit with remarkably similar stories: kids who do not normally have problematic asthma going downhill in a hurry. Several additional children were admitted to regular ward beds.

Apparently not wanting to be held to accountable for his claims, Dr. Williams followed that paragraph with this one:

One doctor’s experience on a given day does not prove a correlation. Medicine depends upon research to teach us the difference between fact and illusion. In the case of asthma and air quality, the facts are clear. On ozone action days, when smog interacts with a hot sun, asthma sends more children (and adults) to emergency rooms, physicians offices and hospitals. A recent study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology sums it up well: “Warm weather patterns of ozone … disproportionately affect children with asthma and appear responsible for severe attacks that could have been avoided.”

Dr. Williams, JunkScience.com challenges you to put up or shut up.

Please produce documentation that shows the asthma cases in question had anything to do with Austin’s air quality. By the way Dr. Williams, we are not looking for correlation — but medical causation.

5 thoughts on “Dr. Don Williams: Show us the medical records”

  1. Causation is evident in the science, how convenient to leave out the research which he cited in the article. None the less, I have two sons who both had trouble with asthma that weekend—our vulnerable community cannot breathe well on ozone days. Yet, you pick on a doctor who felt strongly enough to write a letter to the editor about his experience with patients that weekend. Yes, this type of attitude will get you far in improving the health of our children.

  2. I agree with both of the above. Even in Houston, the humidity has dropped below 50% on several occasions. I can only imagine what it is like in places of the state where it is actually dry, much less the places ON FIRE. Smoke does nasty stuff to lungs, yes.

  3. The last weekend in August was well over 100 degrees and in the middle of one of the worst droughts in Texas history. Dust and other particulates is the biggest air problem we have, not ozone. I’m in the middle of it and have had a series of asthma attacks that I have not had in 30 years because every time you take a step, everything you touch causes a plume of dust. And just so you know, I have had attacks on both days of high and low ozone.

  4. Well, their motto is “Keep Austin Weird”. Austin is Texas’ mini version of the Land of Fruits and Nuts.

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