Getting Hot Out There: time to prepare

This post originally ran on June 29th…

Did you know all heat related deaths are preventable, 100% of them.  Meaning every person that dies from heat illness could have been saved with some easy steps, Occam’s Razor is quite often applicable.  The Korey Stringer Institute sole mission is to prevent sudden death in sports, especially as it relates to exertional heat stroke (the condition that took his life).

Heat is part of the fall and sometimes spring sporting seasons, but you should also know that heat illness can fell any time, even in the indoors during the winter months (see wrestling).  With that disclaimer out-of-the-way it is time to remind everyone to begin preparations for the upcoming season of sports.

With a large portion of the nation dealing with sweltering heat these next few days (guess it was 108 in St. Louis yesterday) remember the possibility exists that our youth will be participating in these conditions.  To prevent heat illness it begins with the individual preparing for the weather.  Hydration, and not just 3 sodas the day before, we are talking nearly a gallon of water in a 24 hour period.  The other very basic way to stem off heat illness is to simply not practice when the temps and humidity are absurd; if possible early morning or late evening times would be best if practice MUST go on that day.

Every sport will be different in terms of a threshold for discontinuation of practice; soccer players are in shorts and loose-fitting tops, baseball/softball players have a dugout to rest in, where as football is all padded up with a helmet in tight uniforms.  Naturally football would be of the greatest concern, and it is.

Once the simplest forms of prevention are in place – hydration and common sense – Continue reading

PBS Frontline: Football High

Just finished watching the Frontline TV magazine show from PBS about high school football.  Link to FULL VIDEO (53 minutes).  A very smart and “eye-opening” piece for those that do not know much about the inner workings of high school football.  The episode dealt with concussions, athletic training, and heat illness, all within the guidelines of winning at the high school level.  The information was nothing new to any of us that deal with ALL of those things as a professional.  What it showed everyone else is the “scary” side of this beloved sport.  However, a lot of these issues can be attenuated with an athletic trainer on the sidelines.

The focus was mainly on the unknown/unseen dangers of the sport we watch and in which we participate, starting with the reporting of the heat strokes of two Arkansas prep players, one of which succumbed to the injury.  They compared the two individuals in terms of immediate treatment for heat stroke.  One player was on a high school team that has an athletic trainer, and the other is not.  The outcomes were vastly different as the player who had an athletic trainer was evaluated and had managed care survived, and even played later in the season after three weeks in the hospital.  The other player, who did not have an athletic trainer, paid the ultimate price and was unable to survive the injury.

Continue reading