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Volunteer fire fighter suffers sudden cardiac death after participating in emergency responses - Maryland.

Jackson-JS; Baldwin-T
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2004-18, 2005 Mar; :1-8
After responding to two alarms during the previous 6 hours, a 65-year-old male volunteer Fire Fighter (FF) was found dead in his home on January 15, 2004 . The death certificate, completed by the Coroner, listed "acute myocardial infarction" as the immediate cause of death. Although neither of the two emergency responses appeared to involve strenuous physical exertion, the stress of responding to the alarm along with his underlying atherosclerotic Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) probably contributed to this FF's heart attack and subsequent sudden cardiac death. The recommendations below, listed in order of priority, are preventive measures recommended by other fire service groups to reduce the risk of on-the-job heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters. 1. Conduct pre-placement and periodic medical evaluations to determine FFs medical ability to perform duties without presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of themselves or others. 2. Phase in a mandatory wellness/fitness program for FFs to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular capacity. 3. Perform a pre-placement and an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation to ensure FFs are physically capable of performing the essential job tasks of structural fire fighting. 4. Ensure that physicians knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting and the components of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582 discuss examination results with FF and clear them for duty.
Region-3; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Heart; Physical-stress; Physical-fitness; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Medical-screening; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-function; Cardiovascular-system; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Medical-examinations; Medical-monitoring; Medical-screening
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division