Kona hospital comes to the rescue

Dr. Stephen Denzer
Dr. Stephen Denzer

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KONA (KHNL) - There's a nearly constant haze of vog along the Kona Coast of the Big Island because of the trade winds.

And many who call the area home turn to the Kona Community Hospital when their health suffers from the air quality.

The Kona Community Hospital has seen its share of people suffering from vog-related illnesses.

"It definitely affects the quality of life for a lot of people," Dr. Stephen Denzer said. "There are people with chronic lung problems who actually left Kona because of the vog."

It might be clear during the morning, but residents say that could change in just a few hours.

"We have a fair amount of emergency room and hospital business that's ultimately due to vog-related respiratory problems," Dr. Denzer said.

Doctors say they treat people with vog-related illnesses similar to how they take care of people with asthma.

"Aerosol treatments, oxygen, drugs, antibiotics, all of those may be used at various times," he said.

Eruptions like the recent one is nothing new to Kona residents, but it's still cause for concern.

"In my lifetime living in Kona, this is really the worst its been, when i'm driving home, I cannot see my house on a really bad day," he said. "I think people on the Big Island have been living with vog since the beginning of time and you just get used to it."