Guard your heart when shoveling snow

Tips to make shoveling a winter event, not a cardiac event

Shoveling image

When the snow starts piling up, many who pick up their shovels and head for their driveways and walkways are putting themselves at risk for an adverse cardiac event. These include heart attacks, where a blockage cuts off the heart’s blood supply leading to tissue damage, and cardiac arrest, when the heart beats irregularly and then stops. But for those at risk, there are ways to guard your heart when shoveling show.

Who’s at risk?

Men are more at risk than women, but certain people with health problems have higher risk than others for a cardiac event. These include anyone who:

  • is in poor physical condition
  • has a history of heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure and stroke
  • has hypertension or diabetes

The greatest risk is with people who are still recovering from a heart attack, or who are being treated for heart failure. People in these groups should avoid snow shoveling entirely. Continue reading

Notre Dame fan’s 2011 game-day heart attack leads to healthier lifestyle

Quick action by fans helped Leo Staudacher survive to watch final touchdowns from his hospital bed

Leo-NotreDameIt was called the biggest comeback in Big House history when Leo Staudacher, 71, suffered cardiac arrest at the 2011 University of Michigan–Notre Dame game, and by the fourth quarter was watching the final minutes of the game from his hospital bed.

Leo Staudacher, right, was rescued by rivals in 2011 when Marvin Sonne, U-M School of Dentistry ’73, performed CPR.

As a sports writer said back then, luckily for Staudacher, a Notre Dame fan, when someone asks “Is there a doctor in the Big House?,” folks spring into action like a two-minute offense.

Two years later, Staudacher is 25 pounds lighter, more devoted to healthy habits and no longer considers U-M a rival—not even Saturday when the Wolverines take on the Irish at 8 p.m.

“I’ve kept my promise too and I’ve never pulled against University of Michigan,” says Staudacher. “I owe so much to the U of M. Notre Dame is in my DNA, but Michigan is in my heart.”

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What is patient and family centered care?

U-M professor Dwight Lang joins Patient Family Advisory Council to share story with others

Dwight's photoIf you have ever been a patient or caregiver, then you’ve probably been faced with the uncertainty that comes with encountering unfamiliar medical terminology and procedures. In fact, it might have seemed like your doctor barely discussed your surgery with you or didn’t allow time for your family to ask questions about your options. For most patients and family members, this makes the medical process rather intimidating.

Fortunately, healthcare is moving away from this patient-directed approach and shifting toward a patient-centric model. Patient and Family Centered Care (PFCC) is a healthcare approach that works to remove the barriers between medical professional and medical patient by truly valuing the concerns, opinions and voices of patients and their families.

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