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Fire fighter suffers cardiac death after responding to a structure fire - New York.

Ross-CS; Hales-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 F2011-27, 2012 Jul; :1-12
On May 18, 2011, a 43-year-old male volunteer fire fighter (FF) suffered a cardiac event en route to a structure fire. While riding in the cab of the apparatus, the FF complained of chest pains. Upon arrival at the fire scene 3 or 4 minutes later, crew members assisted the FF and notified the on-site Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel. EMS personnel assessed the FF, administrated cardiac drugs, and transported the FF to a nearby hospital. Approximately 30 minutes after arrival at the emergency department (ED), the FF had a cardiac arrest. Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) measures, including intubation and defibrillation (shock), were performed. Despite these efforts, the FF died. The death certificate listed the immediate cause of death as "atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease." The autopsy revealed cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), severe coronary artery disease (CAD), and myocardial scarring consistent with a previous (old) heart attack. Given the FF's underlying coronary heart disease, the adrenaline rush of responding to the alarm and running about 400 hundred yards to the fire house may have triggered a heart attack. NIOSH offers the following recommendations to reduce the risk of heart attacks and sudden cardiac arrest among fire fighters at this and other fire departments (FD) across the country. 1. Perform exercise stress tests on FFs at risk for sudden cardiac events. 2. Perform an annual physical performance (physical ability) evaluation. 3. Phase in a mandatory comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters.
Region-2; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Physical-fitness; Medical-screening; Physical-stress
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2011-27; B08012012
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
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