Doctors caution those suffering heart issues to be careful when shoveling snow
MU Health Care doctors had concerns for the public’s safety Thursday as they waited for a possible snow event Friday into Saturday.
Hardware store managers were also helping people prepare for emergencies in their cars and homes. Doctors said some people needed some safety reminders for handling snowy or icy conditions. Emergency Medicine Physician Chris Sampson said the risk of a heart attack increased when you shoveled snow. Dr. Sampson said if you were not used to heavy work in cold conditions, then you should have someone else shovel your snow.
“People sometimes don’t realize how much exertion it takes to shovel snow," Dr. Sampson said. "They may not have done any exercises for a very long time or may be very out of shape. If you are shoveling large quantities of snow, it can put a stress on your heart. Hospitals actually see a rise in heart attacks during that time because people stress their heart so much that it leads to a heart attack.”
Hardware store managers said you should prepare your car if you get stuck in a snow storm by having blankets, bottles of water, small snacks and a cell phone with a flashlight app.
“You have to prepare an emergency kit for your car which should include some high protein snacks, some emergency flashlights, a battery back-up, ice melt to melt the ice, kitty litter for traction, some windshield deicer and handwarmers to keep yourself warm. Be prepared," Westlake’s assistant manager Joe Clemens said. "That’s the biggest thing come this weekend.”
Dr. Sampson said shoes with good treads were important if you decided to walk during icy conditions. Sampson also wanted everyone to check on pets during a snow event.
The doctor said his best advice was stay home, unless you absolutely need to travel.