Why manual snow removal can be dangerous to health

Experts from the US Department of Health released a message a few days ago warning their fellow citizens about the dangers associated with manual snow removal work.

Perhaps to most of us, what could be so dangerous in such a simple activity as manual snow removal in winter.

Clearing the snow with a simple shovel, people think that they are not only doing something useful, but also providing their body with useful physical activity, which for most people is limited during the cold winter days.

But American medical specialists warn that clearing snow by hand can pose a real mortal danger.
In fact, the experts of the Ministry of Health are not exaggerating at all.

The statistics of the tragic cases in several counties of the American state of Illinois, where a heavy snowfall fell about a week ago, confirm that clearing the snow in front of the house by hand with a simple shovel can end in a completely unexpected death.

In 2 days /it was during this period that this state was hit by a snowstorm/ 13 cases of death from myocardial infarction were registered in 2 counties, which occurred at that moment when people were cleaning the snow with a simple shovel and paved a path in the yards of their homes.

For the abundant wet snow, cardiologists even chose a special name – “heart attack snow”.

Among the 13 victims of snow removal, there was only 1 woman, all the others were men. 9 of them were under the age of 70, 3 had not yet turned 60, and 1 never managed to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Medical specialists indicate 3 main causes of myocardial infarction. First of all, such physical activity is unusual for most people, which leads to a sharp strain on the heart.

Secondly, at low air temperature, there is a reflex contraction of the blood vessels, which causes a deterioration of the blood supply to the heart muscle.

The third reason is that snow removal is undertaken in the morning hours, which, apart from being the part of the day when the air temperature is the lowest, is also the time when the risk of developing heart attack is the highest.

For this reason, doctors urge us to conserve our strength and not strain our bodies, and also to take all necessary measures to protect against the cold.

It should be noted that the announcement by the US Department of Health can be defined as not entirely accurate in terms of indicating the causes of the occurrence of sudden death.

Before, cases of sudden death while clearing snow have been reported in the media, even of young men in their 20s and 30s.

According to cardiologists, the sudden onset of death in such cases cannot possibly be due to simple overloading of the heart muscle and constriction of the blood vessels, and should not be defined as something absolutely normal.

This, according to specialists in the field of heart diseases, the occurrence of sudden death while clearing snow is the result of an already occurring and to some extent advanced disease of the circulatory organs, most often the cause of such sudden death is ischemic disease of the heart, for which the blood supply to the heart muscle is disturbed to some extent.

In a large part of Bulgaria, heavy snow has also fallen in recent days, therefore the recommendations of the Ministry of Health are fully valid for Bulgarian conditions as well.

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