NYC Doorman Dies Shoveling Snow in Freak Accident

According to the NYPD and reported by the NY Post, an Upper Eastside Doorman was killed today in a freak accident while shoveling snow.  He fell through a glass window and had his throat slit by glass, police sources said.  The 57 year old was shoveling snow leading downward into the lobby at an apartment building around 9:30am.  When he lost his footing and fell down the entire flight of stairs.  Slippery conditions may be the cause.

To read the entire story from NY Post, click here:

This blizzard brings warnings about the dangers of shoveling snow, an activity that sends thousands of Americans to emergency rooms each winter. It is vital to know your limits.  Don’t tackle the walkway if you aren’t in good enough shape, say the experts. You can get hurt or, even worse, trigger a heart attack or stroke.

According to an article in the Washington Post, medically speaking, a person is indeed more likely to keel over while heaving snow than, say, jogging on a treadmill. But why? ,

“Physically, what happens when you get really cold is you have constriction of the blood vessels,” says Lawrence Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. “It decreases the blood supply you’re getting to your vital organs.”

That’s bad news for people with heart problems, diabetes or high blood pressure. But just as big a problem is that many people dig in despite not having exercised in weeks or months or years. “If you haven’t been exercising and you haven’t been exerting yourself, this is not the time to start,” Phillips said. “The amount of work that goes into shoveling snow is tremendous. … People will underestimate the amount of work they are doing.”

Tips for safely shoveling snow:

Before You Shovel Snow

  • Talk to your doctor before you take on the task of snow shoveling
  • Avoid shoveling immediately after you awaken as most heart attacks occur early in the morning when blood is more prone to clotting. Wait for at least 30 minutes and warm up
  • Do not eat a heavy meal before shoveling: blood gets diverted form the heart to the stomach
  • Warm up your muscles before starting by walking for a few minutes or marching in place
  • Do not drink coffee or smoke for at least one hour before or one hour after shoveling or during breaks. These are stimulants and elevate your blood pressure and heart rate

While Shoveling Snow

  • Use a small shovel: shovel many small loads instead of fewer heavy ones
  • Begin slowly and take frequent, 15-minute breaks
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Dress in layers, to avoid hypothermia (low body temperature) or overheating
  • Cover your head and neck (50% body heat lost thru head and neck)
  • Cover your mouth (breathing cold air can cause angina or trigger breathing problems)
  • Watch for warning signs of a heart attack, lightheadedness, dizziness, being short of breath, or if you have tightness or burning in chest, neck, arms or back. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911.