The Link Between Shoveling Snow and Heart Attacks

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Residents in the five boroughs of New York City are still dealing with the aftermath of receiving over two feet of snow during the first major snow storm of the year. Parts of Queens did not see snow plows for 48 hours after the snow stopped falling. While the city may clean the streets, residents are left to clear their property of an abundance of snow and ice. This cleanup may be necessary, but it can also be dangerous due to the stress shoveling puts on a person’s heart.

The death toll across the east coast resulting from the weekend’s blizzard now stands at more than 40, with many of the fatalities linked to heart attacks while shoveling. In New York City, and Long Island, seven people lost their lives while shoveling snow. In Philadelphia, neighbors were stunned when an 18-year-old pregnant woman collapsed shortly after shoveling and died along with her unborn child. With at least two months of winter still ahead, it is important to know how to keep yourself safe the next time the snow hits.

Shoveling snow places a lot of strain on the body. The exertion of constantly lifting snow causes a person’s heart rate to increase and blood pressure to rise. When you combine that with cold temperatures, which make it more difficult for blood to flow, the risk of a heart attack increases. Individuals who are not accustom to exercise or those with an existing heart condition should be extra cautious. The American Heart Association recommends taking regular breaks while shoveling in order to not overexert your heart, and to pick up smaller piles of snow, even if this takes you longer to finish the cleanup.

Most importantly, if you feel that something is wrong, stop shoveling and seek medical attention. Make sure you know the various symptoms of a heart attack for both men and women and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Completing the daunting task of shoveling is not worth your life. If you or a loved one has suffered a heart attack and feel it was not diagnosed correctly or doctors failed to diagnose a cardiac condition which led to a heart attack, contact the dedicated attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., They will work diligently to ensure you and your family are compensated for your suffering.