FREDERICTON – Ambulance New Brunswick says snow removal could be the culprit behind an increase in cardiac arrest calls.
On the two storm days in the province last week, Tuesday and Saturday, there were 139 cardiac arrest, shortness of breath and chest pain calls.
On those same two days last year, there were 95 calls.
“Snow shovelling can be pretty hard on you, it’s almost like a sport,” said Jean-Marc Dugas, Safety Programs Manager with Ambulance N.B.
“Because, it’s the same as if you go to play a game of hockey, where you put a lot of effort then it puts a lot of strain on your heart.”
He offered some tips to avoid snow removing becoming hazardous.
“Just take a little bit of snow at a time and throw it just out of the way so you don’t over-exert yourself. Use your legs and your arms, not your back to lift.”
Dugas said wearing layers, so that nothing is exposed, is important.
It’s hard to track how many heart attacks or deaths have been caused by snow removal. But Ambulance N.B. says there’s usually an increase in cardiac arrest calls following a snow storm.
Those who have to shovel – a lot – are advised to listen to their bodies. Like employees at Jim Gilbert’s Wheels and Deals in Fredericton.
“We have about 150 vehicles in stock that we have to clean off,” said Sales Manager, John Eliakis. “We come in around six in the morning and we all do a little stretch just to get warmed up.”