DETROIT (WWJ) – The latest bout of winter weather has claimed at least one life. A spokesperson at Beaumont Hospital Grosse Pointe tells WWJ Newsradio 950 a 45-year old man died of a possible heart attack after shoveling snow for three hours.
An autopsy will be done to determine a definitive cause of death.
Meantime, Beaumont Royal Oak Chief Cardiologist Dr. Aaron Berman says it’s really important you take breaks when you are out in the elements. And, if you feel any tell-tale signs, that you call an ambulance.
“Not all heart discomfort is presented as the classic elephant sitting on your chest. More subtle presentation is nausea, shortness of breath, sweatiness — all these things may represent cardiac discomfort. Especially in the setting of shoveling snow, if people don’t feel right they should talk to their doctor and stop shoveling,” Dr. Berman said.
“You’re going from sitting in this house having a cup of coffee in your nice warm kitchen to going out into 20 degree weather and exerting yourself pretty maximally. Shoveling snow is some of the hardest exercise you can do,” he said.
Dr. Berman said this can make your blood vessels to spasm, which sets the stage for plaque to rupture and clots to form.