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Saturday, January 23, 2016

CAUTION - Potential for heart attacks are high shoveling snow

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

This weekend’s storm is certainly living up to the forecast.  High snow totals are being recorded across the region with cold temperatures and high wind gusts, a true winter blizzard.

This winter storm has produced enough snow that clearing sidewalks, driveways and other areas will be a challenge to shovel, especially for those that have an existing heart condition or anyone over the age of 50. Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts, and take frequent breaks.

Be warned that the snow that has fallen so far has been of the lighter powder texture.  It is anticipated that this afternoon’s snowfall will be the heavy and wet texture.  The heavy and wet snow adds weight to your shoveling, requires high energy and is dangerous to your health.

Use smaller shovels; perhaps a narrow shovel that will not allow you to pick up big amounts.

Cold temperatures also will affect your health when shoveling.  You will exert high energy when shoveling which will make you breath harder and more often.  Deep and frequent breathing will result in inhaling colder air that will constrict your lungs and airways making the exchange of oxygen into your bloodstream difficult.  When you venture outdoors this weekend wear clothing that will cover your mouth and nose.

Ask a neighborhood youth to clear your walks for you or be a good neighbor and clear the snow for your senior citizen neighbor.

If you experience signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which include, chest pains, difficulty breathing, heaviness on your chest, numbness in your neck and left arm, call 911 immediately.

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