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Winter Storm Safety Tips: Heart Health


It’s hard to believe that a normal chore like shoveling can cause a heart attack, but as we prepare for the impending storm — heart health is on our mind.

With a winter storm warning in effect from midnight to 6pm in Nassau and a blizzard warning in effect from 3am to 6pm for Suffolk, we wanted to provide some safety tips for where your heart and overall health are concerned!

Heart Attacks
With snow comes shoveling, and with shoveling can come heart attacks. You see, when you get cold, your blood vessels constrict which decreases the blood supply to vital organs. Couple this with sudden exertion (like shoveling or even walking through snow) and you can cause serious strain to your heart.

Protect yourself — keep these snow safety tips in mind: 

  • Give yourself a break. Don’t over stress your heart — be sure to take breaks while shoveling. Pay attention to how your body is feeling.
  • Don’t consume alcohol or have a full meal before or after shoveling. Alcohol can mask how much strain you are placing on your body while a full belly can also place strain on the heart.
  • Make sure you’re healthy! Understand the warning signs of a heart attack, minutes matter! If you are battling some type of cold or sickness, stay indoors. However if you are healthy, consider lending any elderly neighbors a hand.

Hypothermia and Frostbite
With temperatures falling into the 20s, it’s important to stay dry and indoors — prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite or worse, hypothermia. Frostbite can set in quickly, primarily where your extremities are concerned. If you feel like you’ve lost feeling and color in your nose, ears, fingers, or toes — seek medical help immediately.

Hypothermia happens when your body’s temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause lasting damage to your organs. Make sure to keep dry (as wet clothes make you lose body heat) and should you experience warning signs such as uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, or incoherence — medical care is needed ASAP!

As one of Long Island's most respected radiology practices for over 80 years, we’ve worked continuously to serve patients and referring physicians with the latest advances in diagnostic imaging. Our commitment to providing the highest level of care begins with our doctors, all board-certified with extensive experience and advanced specialty training. All nine Medical Arts Radiology locations are accredited by the American College of Radiology and have earned designation as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence.

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