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West Virginia Office of
Emergency Medical Services

350 Capitol Street
Room 425
Charleston WV, 25301

Toll Free: 1-888--747-8367
OEMS Phone: (304) 558-3956
OEMS Fax: (304) 558-8379
Trauma Phone: (304) 558-7124
Trauma Fax: (304) 558-7125

A MESSAGE FROM THE BUREAU FOR PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSIONER AND STATE HEALTH OFFICER, DR. RAHUL GUPTA

While the information contained in this news article was current and accurate when we posted it, it may not necessarily represent current WVOEMS policy or procedure. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 304-558-3956.

Posted: Friday, January 22, 2016 8:00 AM

As Winter Storm Jonas approaches, there is a potential for heavy snowfall, freezing rain or sleet and power outages.

Use caution if working outdoors or shoveling snow to prevent serious illness.

Please remember to avoid excessive exertion especially when shoveling snow that can lead to heart problems.

Cold weather can increase extra strain on the heart.  If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, you should follow your healthcare provider's advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. If heavy outdoor chores are necessary or if you insist on shoveling snow, please dress warmly and work slowly. Near freezing temperature is considered a factor for cold stress.  Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal, heat can more rapidly leave the body. These weather-related conditions may lead to serious health problems.  Be sure the outer layer of clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by cold.  It is important to stay dry.  Wet clothing chills the body rapidly.  Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.  Do not ignore shivering, it's an important first sign that the body is losing heat.

If at any time you experience chest pain, feeling lightheaded or shortness of breath, or if your heart starts racing, you should head indoors immediately. If you believe you may be experiencing a heart attack or if medical attention is needed call 911.

Please stay safe and warm during this winter storm.

 

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