As house leagues across Canada come together to triumph during the 2015-2016 hockey season, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Ottawa Paramedics would like to remind everyone that, unless you are Sidney Crosby… or P.K. Subban, there are some important health facts you might want to keep in mind all season long.
Every year, local hockey players suffer heart attacks and other heart related events that could often be prevented if players made sure to prepare responsibly for the game. Here are five easy tips to keep in mind:
- Get in shape to play hockey! Make sure to exercise at least three times per week… and all year-round
- Have a plan, and a good team talk, to ensure everyone knows how to respond to a sudden cardiac event on the ice or on the bench. Quick reaction time is key!
- Always know the location of the closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in your arena
- Always make sure to have a cell phone on the bench. This way first responders can be contacted in a timely manner and act quickly
- Know and address your heart risks – Are you a smoker? Do you have a family history of heart disease? Do you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
“Ice hockey is a great sport to stay in shape and enjoy great time with friends, but ignoring the stress it puts on the heart and not taking the appropriate actions to play safe can lead to serious, sudden cardiac events,” said Dr. Andrew Pipe, Chief of the Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation at the Ottawa Heart Institute. “Players should know, and address, their risk factors and work as a team with their physicians as necessary to effectively avoid unfortunate incidents. Get in shape to play hockey; don’t play hockey to get in shape!
“Every hockey season paramedics are called for players experiencing cardiac problems while playing hockey. Getting ready for this year’s season should start with a visit to your family doctor. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and to take immediate action by calling 911 and alerting facility staff,” warns Peter Kelly, acting chief of the Ottawa Paramedic Service.”