Heart of a Hunter: Easy things to do to protect the heart

Excitement and physical exertion of hunting can be intense

In just a few weeks, Michigan’s regular firearm season begins and tens of thousands of #1BlogImageV2.fw
camouflaged hunters will head for the woods and shorelines.

For some hunters, heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrests can be brought on by the strenuous exercise and dramatic bursts of activity that hunting can bring.

Fortunately, hunters can take steps now to protect themselves from heart dangers later this fall – and to make sure they’ll know what to do if a fellow hunter goes down.

Some of the easiest things to do right away include:

  • Getting a pre-hunt medical checkup, with special attention to the heart for those who have had heart problems in the past
  • Starting a daily walking routine or other exercise regimen in the weeks before hitting the woods
  • Learning CPR and first aid

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Springing to action: CPR saves Michigan fan in cardiac arrest

U-M emergency physician encourages bystander CPR training

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Marv Childrey (left) and Ron Clingerman, of Jackson County, Mich.

Don’t be fooled by the easy banter between Marv Chidrey, 57, and Ronald L. Clingerman, 62, who have been friends and fishing buddies since they worked at the same bank 20 years ago – “what we do is fishing, not catching,” Marv says. Ron pulled no punches last year when Marv collapsed in cardiac arrest at a University of Michigan football game.

He was on the ground, admittedly fumbling to do chest compressions on an unconscious Marv, when a stadium usher radioed for help and another bystander began CPR. In moments, Huron Valley Ambulance paramedics and U-M medical staff on duty at the stadium used a defibrillator to shock Marv’s heart in to rhythm. He’d had the “widow maker” heart attack, and after transport to U-M Hospital, a catheterization team at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center opened Marv’s blocked heart artery.

“If someone is in cardiac arrest, you just have to remember to do two things,” says Robert Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., U-M’s chair of emergency medicine. “Call 911, and start hands-only CPR, pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest.”   Continue reading