Rachel Katch, MS, ATC
Associate Director of Military and Occupational Safety
One of the dedicated missions of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) is to provide the most evidence-based information and education on preventing sudden death in sport and physical activity, and on June 24th, 2017, KSI had the opportunity to work on that mission. After traveling to Wisconsin, Dr. William Adams and I disseminated an eight-hour seminar with the specific focus of preventing sudden death in sport and physical activity. Our hosts were affiliates of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, and many individuals attending the seminar were local high school and collegiate athletic trainers. There were four individual presentations followed by a lab portion, in which participants received hands-on training and practice regarding the gold standard method of recognizing and treating exertional heat stroke (i.e., rectal temperature, cold water immersion). For many individuals, this was the first time practicing the skills needed to save a life from exertional heat stroke. The presentations given, including one evidence based practice session, included the following:
- Preventing Sudden Death in Sport: Overview of Current Epidemiology and Prevention Strategies
- Development and Implementation of Health and Safety Policies in Youth Student Athletes
- Optimizing Safety and Performance During Exercise: The Role of Hydration and Fluid Regulation
- Evidence Medicine in the Realm of Heat Stroke and Sudden Death: The Long Journey from Evidence to Policy
One of the more interactive portions of the seminar was the exertional heat stroke lab. After receiving a presentation on the best-practice recommendations, the participants were able to translate their knowledge into practice; some, if not all, for the first time. With the gold standard recognition and care of exertional heat stroke being well documented for decades, being able to practice these skills and break down the negative stigma around rectal thermometry and cold-water immersion is imperative to positive patient outcomes.
KSI is humbled to be able to not only provide the evidence-based research and literature, but also the means of translating that research into practice, and we are grateful to our hosts for providing us the opportunity to get our message out to fellow medical professionals.