Physician warns about ‘heart attack snow’

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–Shoveling snow out of the driveway is a common chore, but for some it can be risky… especially when the snow is both heavy and wet. Doctors say if you aren’t careful, it could trigger a heart attack.

Dr. Tom Plura, a physician at CampusTown Urgent Care in Champaign said if you plan on shoveling snow but have a pre-existing condition, to try and see if someone else can shovel it for you.

He said cases dealing with ‘heart attack snow’ is common, especially after days of heavy snowfall. It’s caused by blood vessels constricting when breathing in the cold air, combined with the toll of heavy exercise and lifting heavy snow outside.

This can trigger an attack at any point, between the middle of shoveling and up to six hours afterwards.

“If they insist on shoveling, just don’t be Superman,” Dr. Plura said. “Use a smaller shovel and take breaks.”

He added, pacing yourself is also a crucial way to prevent an attack, and if a pile is already melting or small, to just leave it alone.

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