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Captain suffers sudden cardiac death while on-duty - Tennessee.

Baldwin T; 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 F2013-01, 2013 Jun; :1-13
On August 20, 2012, a 49-year-old male career fire captain ("Captain") was scheduled to work a 24-hour shift. The Captain arrived for duty at the fire station at 0700 hours. At 0727 hours the Captain complained of indigestion and chest pain. As he went to obtain an antacid in the bunkroom, he asked his Lieutenant to call for an ambulance. A few moments later crew members heard what sounded like snoring and found the Captain lying unresponsive in the hallway. An automated external defibrillator (AED) was obtained as an ambulance was called. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was begun (0728 hours) as three AED shocks were administered without improvement in his clinical status. The ambulance arrived at 0738 hours and advanced life support was begun. The Captain was transported to the hospital's emergency department where advanced life support continued for 15 minutes. Despite CPR and advanced life support on the scene, in transport, and at the hospital, the Captain died at 0817 hours. The death certificate and the autopsy listed "acute coronary insufficiency" as the cause of death. Given the Captain's underlying cardiovascular disease, NIOSH investigators concluded that an arrhythmia or heart attack probably triggered his sudden cardiac death. The following recommendations were not related to the Captain's death. Nonetheless, NIOSH investigators offer these recommendations to strengthen the FD's comprehensive safety and health program. 1. Conduct exercise stress tests into the fire department medical evaluation program for fire fighters at increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). 2. Phase in a mandatory comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters. 3. Discontinue exercise stress tests on symptomatic young fire fighters with no risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD).
Region-4; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Heart; Medical-screening; Physical-stress; Physical-fitness
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2013-01; B20130625
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division