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Captain suffers an acute aortic dissection after responding to two alarms and subsequently dies due to hemopericardium - Pennsylvania.

Authors
Jackson-JS; Butasek-M
Source
NIOSH 2005 Aug; :1-8
NIOSHTIC No.
20028473
Abstract
On January 21, 2004, a 35-year-old male volunteer Captain responded to two alarms: a motor vehicle crash (MVC) with an injury, and a reported house fire that turned out to be a false alarm. Returning to the fire station after the false alarm, he complained of not feeling well and went home. After being home about 15 minutes, he collapsed. The Captain was transported to the local hospital and later flown to a regional hospital for diagnostic testing. Despite having a cardiac catheterization with coronary angiography, and a chest computed tomography (CT) scan, his aortic dissection went undiagnosed. He was treated for bilateral pneumonia but his condition continued to deteriorate. Despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced life support (ALS), the Captain was pronounced dead approximately 20 hours after his initial complaint. The autopsy revealed the cause of death to be "hemopericardium" due to an "aortic rupture" and "aortic dissection." It is unlikely the following recommendations could have prevented the Captain's death. Nonetheless, the NIOSH investigators offer these recommendations to reduce the risk of on-the-job heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters. 1. Provide mandatory pre-placement and annual medical evaluations to ALL fire fighters consistent with NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments to determine their medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others. 2. Perform an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation to ensure fire fighters are physically capable of performing the essential job tasks of structural fire fighting. 3. Phase in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for fire fighters to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity. 4. Ensure that fire fighters are cleared for duty by a physician knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting, the personal protective equipment used by fire fighters, and the various components of NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medicine Program for Fire Departments. 5. Provide fire fighters with medical clearance to wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
Keywords
Region-4; Cardiac-function; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-function; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Fire-fighters; Medical-examinations; Medical-screening; Occupational-health-programs; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Safety-education
Publication Date
20050824
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
PB2006-100411
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
FACE-F2005-16
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS
SIC Code
NAICS-92
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
PA; OH
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