A Hartford doctor’s advice on preventing show shoveling injuries

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Connecticut app, and with the heavy, wet snow on the way, we need to talk about safety. According to Harvard Medical School, about 100 people die every year in the US during or just after shoveling snow. Most of them are men, many more people are admitted to the hospital because of a medical emergency. Related to shoveling, and a study in Canada from 1981 to 2014 found that if more than eight inches of snow fell, there was a 16% increase in admissions compared to days with no snow.  Here is the weather forcast.


The more it snowed and the longer it snowed, the higher the rates of heart attacks.

Now, given that we’re speaking with a doctor about ways to prevent and reduce the risks, given that we’re speaking with a doctor about ways to prevent and reduce the risks. Joining us now is Doctor Annamie Singh, medical director of Emergency medicine at Hartford Hospital. Thank you so much for being here.


Now, those statistics are pretty shocking. Are there certain patients who have certain health risks that you recommend?

Not shovel snow at all. >> So a person who is not in good physical shape will not all of a sudden start running at seven miles per hour. So consider this an equivalent of the same. So if you are not in a good physical shape, or if you have a compromised heart and have been told by your doctors not to physically exert yourself , then you should definitely consider not shoveling at all because it causes a lot of stress on your cardiovascular system. >> Definitely something to take into consideration.

Now, what are some of the heart attack signs that men and women should watch out for? >> So the typical heart attack signs that we all hear and, uh, are aware about is chest pressure, difficulty breathing.


A Hartford doctor's advice on preventing show shoveling injuries

But sometimes the signs and symptoms can vary and can be a little bit confusing and can be as gentle as just this generalized feeling of weakness and overbearing. Exhausting Sometimes it can be nausea, sometimes it can be like headedness. So the typical the typical symptoms might not be present.

And this is especially true for females and for diabetic people, as well as people on the more older side. >> Of course, back injuries are pretty common when shoveling. If someone unfortunately strains their muscles, how do you recommend treating that at home and when does it become a situation where someone needs to go see a doctor? >> First of all, you should make sure that your posture is right, that your back is well supported , that your core is braced to support your back, but if it happens, then the one of the things that we highly recommend is rest resting itself can help your body recover much faster.


Then depending upon your preference, use cold packs or heat packs can help with the symptoms as well.

If there is no contraindication, then taking Tylenol or any other paracetamol formulation or ibuprofen formulation in the recommended dosage are the first couple of medications that we generally recommend for people with back pain. I would be very, very careful if this was excruciating pain, which is unlikely. What you experience when you go through a back pain. Other symptoms to watch out for would be numbness or, uh, loss of sensation or tingling in your legs. Uh, any problem peeing or, uh, any weakness?

Uh, not an inability from the pain, but actual weakness that you are experiencing in your lower extremity.


Those are the signs and symptoms which really worries us. >> Do you have any other tips you’d like to share to help people stay safe ahead of this snowfall? Avoid driving if you can during heavy storms because, uh, trauma and accidents are some things that we often see in Ed after especially the first snowstorm, we see a lot of slips and falls happening right after the first snowstorm. >> So be very careful, especially if you’re on the older side.

Our propensity to sustain fractures even from, uh, smaller, low level falls, increases. >> All right. Doctor Singh with.


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