As Sydney chokes on bushfire smoke, doctors and environmental health experts warn they were flying blind when it came to predicting the long-term effects of breathing toxic air for months over a long, dry and hot summer. For the past month, hospitals have been inundated with patients struggling to breathe, slow their beating hearts, or calm their consuming anxiety as the smog, ash and refuse of 2.7 million scorched hectares swept the east coast. People are seen wearing face masks to protect from smoke haze as they cross a busy city street on December 5, 2019 in Sydney.Credit:Don Arnold When Sydney’s air pollution soared to levels 11 times higher than the "hazardous" threshold on Tuesday, NSW emergency departments scrambled to treat 234 patients presenting with asthma and breathing problems – twice the average number for a single day this time of year. Smoke filled hospital corridors and clinical areas, […]