Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper is recovering in hospital from a heart attack suffered when he was shovelling snow.
The councillor, who is 48, said he suffered the attack as a result of a blocked blood vessel. He was given an angioplasty and is on his way to a full recovery. But he said he will be take some time to recuperate.
Leiper said he has smoked for 30 years and now plans to quit as a result of the incident.
Goodly amount of snow out there! Word this morning – no surprise – that sidewalk plows are on blowers, so they’ll be a while on the side streets. I’ll be heading out after CBC’s fart cannon coverage to shovel as much of my block’s sidewalk as I can. Looks light at least!— Jeff Leiper (@JLeiper) February 13, 2019
News reports say a 65 year old Ottawa man also suffered an attack digging out from under the massive snowfall that hit the region Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Even snow blowing can be strenuous. Medics revived a M60s in Orleans who went into cardiac arrest while clearing his driveway. CPR & defibrillation by paramedics. Pt conscious afterwards. Medics diagnosed heart attack and pt taken to specialized centre. #OnStorm #ottnews pic.twitter.com/DmCQYSWd5T— Ottawa Paramedic Svc (@OttawaParamedic) February 13, 2019
Shovelling snow and heart attacks seem to go hand in hand. A 2017 study, reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, detailed the connection between shovelling snow and heart attacks. Cold weather also does seem to increase the risk when shovelling.
While men have a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack during snow removal, age does not play a factor, the study showed. Hospital admissions showed a 16 per cent increase on days with a snowfall and the number of heart attack related deaths increased to 34 per cent a day after a snowfall of more than eight inches.
The study also suggests people with a higher risk of heart attacks should consider refraining from shovel snow for their own safety. Ottawa Public Health and Ottawa Paramedic Services tweeted out tips and warning signs for heart attacks. Their advice: take it easy, help out your neighbours and push, don’t throw, the snow to avoid back injuries and other health consequences.
A lot of you will (sigh) still be shoveling today— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) February 14, 2019
Please take it easy. Push the snow instead of throwing it. Lift small amounts at a time. Pace yourself.
If you are experiencing chest pain while shoveling, stop and call 911 immediately pic.twitter.com/jpeAdV4hwO
OPH Shoveling Tips: #47— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) February 13, 2019
Use a mantra to help keep a slow & steady rhythm to pace yourself & avoid injury
Something like: At least there isn’t a #FrostbiteAdvisory, at least there isn’t a #FrostbiteAdvisory, at least there isn’t a #FrostbiteAdvisory#KeepCalmAndShovelOn
Well, it would seem that we’ve received…— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) February 13, 2019
Take it nice & slow when shoveling. And keep an eye on your neighbours in case they need some help.
Shoveling can be a sterneous activity. Push the snow and avoid throwing it to save your back and your heart. If you are experiencing chest pain while shoveling, stop and call 911 immediately. pic.twitter.com/Q3YV0kvG2A— Ottawa Paramedic Svc (@OttawaParamedic) February 13, 2019