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Deputy chief suffers sudden cardiac death during physical fitness training - Illinois.
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 F2010-33, 2011 Mar; :1-12
On September 20, 2010, a 55-year-old male career Deputy Chief (DC) responded to a medical call and provided assistance. Later in the day, the DC exercised as part of the Fire Department (FD) fitness program. The DC was about 5 minutes into his exercise program when the duty crew was dispatched to a call in which the DC did not respond. Approximately 90 minutes later, the DC was found unresponsive lying alongside the Stairmaster. Despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced life support (ALS) at the fire station, in the ambulance, and in the hospital's emergency department (ED), the DC died. The death certificate and the autopsy listed "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy" as the cause of death with "arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease" as a contributing condition. Given the DC's severe underlying heart disease, NIOSH investigators concluded that moderately strenuous physical exertion during exercise probably triggered an arrhythmia causing his sudden cardiac death. NIOSH investigators offer the following recommendations to address general safety and health issues. It is unclear, however, if these recommended programs would have prevented the DC's death. 1. Ensure fire fighters are cleared for return to duty by a healthcare provider knowledgeable about the physical demands of fire fighting, the personal protective equipment used by fire fighters, and the various components of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1582. 2. Ensure on-duty fire fighters exercise in pairs or within viewing/hearing distance of another crew member.
Region-5; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Physical-fitness; Medical-screening; Physical-stress
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
Services: Public Safety
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division