Have a Heart Condition? Snow Removal May Be Dangerous

Jan 25, 2016

Credit Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As state road crews continue to clear snow and debris from secondary routes, for many, digging out from under as much as a foot of snow or more has just begun. The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health is reminding residents shoveling snow could put some at risk for heart-attacks or other health related problems.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Rahul Gupta says it’s critical that residents understand that shoveling snow is strenuous work and can increase strain on the heart or increase risk for a serious fall. Those who are not accustomed to manual labor should allow themselves plenty of time and rest to complete the task and wear appropriate footwear and clothing. 

The National Heart Attack Alert Program says signs of a heart attack include discomfort of the left side of the chest, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness. Serious falls most often occur when residents are attempting to clear snow from rooftops or other structures.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.