Doctors warn of heart attacks while shoveling heavy snow

Doctors warn of heart attacks while shoveling heavy snow

(WFSB) – Winter Storm Wayne dumped almost a foot of heavy, wet snow on Connecticut and doctors are urging residents to be wary of the possibility of suffering a heart attack while shoveling.


For those shoveling, clearing paths, or cleaning off cars, Monday’s snow proved to be a challenge.

Channel 3 spoke with East Hartford resident Gale Parker who spent the morning babysitting but said she was lucky she didn’t have to shovel.

Gale’s daughter shoveled her driveway and walkway for her.

“She has a snow thrower, but it got clogged a lot,” said Parker. “So, she had a hard time with it, so she had to shovel and it was heavy.”

However, the heavy, wet snow tends to cause some issues with people.

Thankfully, neither Hartford Hospital, nor St. Francis Medical Center saw patients in the Emergency Room for heart related issues.

Channel 3 spoke with Consulting Cardiologist, Dr. Kevin Dougherty who said there is an increased risk of heart attacks when there is a snow storm.

“Often times several days after a storm like this we get phone calls and see an influx of patients who felt more short of breath or slight discomfort in their chest but didn’t think enough to call their doctor at the time and aren’t concerned about it until they come in for a follow up,” said Dr. Kevin Dougherty.

Dr. Dougherty said those with known heart disease and risk factors are at an increased risk of heart attack, and the risks increase as we age.

“It’s shown the depth and weight of the snow does correlate to the stress and work the heart has to do,” said Dr. Kevin Dougherty.

For others, it’s cardiovascular exercise.

“It was a work out,” said Gale. “She got her workout in for the today so no complaints there.”

Some of the symptoms of a heart attack include, discomfort in the chest or upper body and shortness of breath.

Dr. Dougherty said those who felt any pain or discomfort while shoveling or afterward, call 911 immediately.


Source:- wfsb