For the past five years, Billings Clinic has distributed over 5,000 educational stickers detailing symptoms of a heart attack. The stickers, included with every snow shovel purchase, urge people to call 911 if they experience any of the listed symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest discomfort and nausea.
Dr. Colin Fisher, a physician and Director of Billings Clinic’s Chest Pain Center, says even though snow shoveling is a common task for Montanans, it may put you at a higher risk for heart attacks.
“If you’re having symptoms like shortness of breath with or without activity, chest pain or pressure, or otherwise don’t feel good. Listen to your body and seek out care. Don’t keep exercising thinking it will go away; that is your body trying to tell you something is wrong,” says Dr. Fisher.
Billings Clinic employees have placed stickers on snow shovels at hardware stores in Billings, Columbus, Red Lodge and Absarokee to help educate the community on heart health and how cold weather can affect the body.
If you have heart problems or find yourself tiring out easily, it is important to consider using a smaller shovel, taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated. If you experience chest pains or think you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
Billings Clinic is Montana’s largest health system, serving Montana, Wyoming and the western Dakotas. A not-for-profit organization led by a physician CEO, Billings Clinic is governed by a board of community members and physicians. More information can be found at www.billingsclinic.com.