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Lieutenant dies while directing interior ventilation and primary search operations at a fire in a three-story dwelling - Pennsylvania.

Authors
Baldwin-TN; Sexson-SK; Brown-SE
Source
NIOSH 2000 Jan; :1-9
NIOSHTIC No.
20000419
Abstract
On January 27, 1998, a 47-year-old male Lieutenant responded to a fire in a three-story dwelling. While laddering the building and directing interior ventilation and primary search operations, the victim had an unwitnessed collapse. He was found by a firefighter returning for further instructions. After approximately 55 to 60 minutes of CPR and advanced life support (ALS) on scene and at the hospital, a normal heart rhythm was regained. Neurologic consultation was requested and tests indicated that the victim's unwitnessed collapse resulted in anoxic encephalopathy (brain death), so he was taken off life support and died on February 3, 1998. The death certificate and the autopsy, completed by the City Medical Examiner, listed "acute myocardial infarction" due to "atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease" as the immediate cause of death and "smoke and soot inhalation" as significant conditions. Other agencies have proposed a three-pronged strategy for reducing the risk of on-duty heart attacks and cardiac arrests among fire fighters. This strategy consists of (1) minimizing physical stress on fire fighters; (2) screening to identify and subsequently rehabilitate high risk individuals; and (3) encouraging increased individual physical capacity. The following issues are relevant to this fire department: Fire Fighters should have annual medical evaluations to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others; Reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity by phasing in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for fire fighters; All personnel entering a potentially hazardous atmosphere should wear an SCBA.
Keywords
Fire-fighting; Cardiovascular-disease; Heart; Smoke-inhalation; Respirators; Myocardial-disorders; Region-3;
CAS No.
630-08-0;
Publication Date
20000105
Document Type
Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
Fiscal Year
2000
NTIS Accession No.
PB2000-107338
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
FACE-99-F23
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS;
Priority Area
Cardiovascular Disease
SIC Code
NAICS-92
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
PA; OH
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