Too Much Exercise Can Tax the Heart
All the digging that follows a massive snowstorm can trigger heart attacks, medical experts say.
Swampscott emergency crews were called to a local home today at 12:30 for a report of a possible heart attack victim. The person had been shoveling snow.
Heart problems can arise when people who rarely exercise take their snow shovel and heave hundreds of pounds of snow, according to a Harvard Medical School journal article.
Add cold weather to the mix and probelms can grow, the journal article states.
Cold temperatures can boost blood pressure, interrupting blood flow and making it more likely to clot, according to the article.
A clot inside a coronary artery blocks blood flow to part of the heart, causing heart muscle cells to begin to shut down and die — a heart attack.
The article cites the following signs of a heart attack:
- squeezing in the chest
- shortness of breath
- pain that radiates up to the left shoulder and down the left arm, or a cold sweat
- jaw pain
- lower back pain
- unexplained fatigue or nausea
Watch Your Step
Snowbanks in town are five, six and even seven feet or more high in town so walkers need to take note that plow operators and others may not see them in some instances.
Local officials say the visibility is cut considerably for the drivers of plows and other essential vehicles with these high banks of snow.
Some of the banks will only grow taller as the plowing continues on roads where the lane or lanes need to opened more.
Officials ask that those who are clearing their driveways with snowblowers use care not to add to snowbanks that influence drivers' visibility.
Department of Public Works Director Gino Cresta said this morning that people who are clearing their driveways can expect, in some cases, more snow piled at the ends of the driveways by plow operations.
Plow operators have much more work to do and will likely be working into Sunday, taking a four hour break after they have been on the road 24 hours straight.
As the operators continue to widen roads, and snow push snow from the road, it will trail off the end of th eplow blades and collect at the end of driveways — some of which had already been cleared by residents.
IMPORTANT NUMBERS & WEBSITES:
- In an emergency, dial 911
- Police Department: 781-595-1111
- Fire Department: 781-595-4050
- Public Works Department:
- National Grid gas emergencies: 800-233-5325
- Comcast: 1-800-COMCAST (1-800-266-2278)
- Verizon: 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966)
- RCN: 1-866-TECH-RCN (1-866-832-4726)
- MBTA Swampscott station: Service updates