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Fire fighter/emergency medical technician suffers an acute myocardial infarction and dies three days later - Pennsylvania.
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 F2006-08, 2006 Nov; :1-8
On November 21, 2005, a 41-year-old male career Fire Fighter/Emergency Medical Technician (FF/EMT) worked his 24-hour shift, during which he participated in a live-fire exercise and responded to a sprinkler system low-air alarm. The next morning, November 22nd, the FF/EMT went home after his shift and painted a bathroom. He experienced chest pain and called 911. Shortly after the ambulance arrived, he suffered a cardiac arrest and was transported to a hospital where he was treated and then transferred to another hospital for advanced cardiac care. Testing revealed he had suffered an acute heart attack (myocardial infarction [MI]). His condition deteriorated, and he died three days later. The death certificate (completed by the attending physician) listed "atherosclerotic heart disease" due to "acute myocardial infarction" as the cause of death. The autopsy (performed by the pathologist) listed "arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) with acute myocardial infarction; pulmonary emboli" as the cause of death. NIOSH investigators offer the following recommendations to address general safety and health issues. It is unlikely any of these recommendations would have prevented this FF/EMT's death. 1. Incorporate exercise stress tests (ESTs) for fire fighters at increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) into the fire department's (FD) periodic medical evaluation program. 2. Discontinue routine annual electrocardiograms (EKGs) unless medically indicated. 3. Perform an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation to ensure fire fighters are physically capable of performing the essential job tasks of structural firefighting.
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; Emergency-responders; Physical-fitness
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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