Heart Attack & Stroke at Work
OSHA reports that each year 10,000 heart attacks occur at work. Jobs with especially long, irregular hours and stressful environments—such as nurses working in Intensive Care Units—are at higher risk for heart attacks. Even if a workers’ heart is healthy, a sudden blow due to a fall or impact, can damage the heart and cause cardiac arrest.
While in the U.S., men are more prone to heart attacks, women are more prone to strokes. A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood to the brain; without blood, brain cells do not have access to vital oxygen and nutrients and they begin to deteriorate. Strokes can be caused by brain injury, stress, or overextension, and can lead to either short-term or long-term symptoms. According to one study, long work hours (defined as over 55 hours per week) increase risk of both stroke and heart attack immensely.
It can be difficult to prove that unusual workplace stress caused the heart attack or stroke, but a workers’ compensation attorney will be able to assess your case. Medical experts can attest to whether the cardiac arrest or stroke was caused by workplace activities, or simply occurred at work.
Feel free to contact the law offices of Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn for a free consultation on your possible claim.