PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Shoveling snow is difficult for the best of us, and the massive amount that has built up on city streets from the Blizzard of 2015 is making it all the more difficult.
Thursday morning, the Rhode Island Department of Health confirmed two men in the greater Providence metropolitan area had “suffered sudden death” while shoveling snow.
While the official causes of death have not been released, one doctor who spoke to Eyewitness News said that there are multiple studies showing a link between heart attacks and shoveling.
“Shoveling in the cold increases the work of the heart, and those pre-disposed to heart attacks get it while shoveling snow,” Dr. Selim Suner of Rhode Island Hospital said.
Barry Schuman of Providence said that he feels terrible for the families and that he has always been warned about the dangers of shoveling snow.
“I try to take long breaks between shoveling,” he said.
Dr. Suner said that symptoms of a heart attack include fatigue and shortness of breath. He also mentioned that if symptoms do not improve after taking a break from shoveling, residents should call 911.