Month: December 2020

Heat is killing more people than ever. Scientists are looking for ways to lower the risk (Science)

Heat is killing more people than ever. Scientists are looking for ways to lower the risk

“It’s 5 a.m. and still dark at the Carlton Complex fire camp in central Washington, except for the fire’s orange glow on a distant ridgeline. Wildlands firefighter Bre Orcasitas, two colleagues, and three volunteers suit up: heavy duty fire-resistant pants, shirt, jacket, and helmet. Their boots weigh 2 kilograms; the backpacks they will haul to the fire—loaded with 6 liters of water, food for a 16-hour shift, safety gear, and hand tools—can weigh 30 kilograms. Sometimes the burden includes a 12-kilogram chain saw.

On this day in August 2014, the crew is not just fighting flames, but also taking part in research. Orcasitas outfits each person with a chest harness and sensors that will record their heart rate, elevation gain, distance traveled, carbon monoxide intake, and skin temperature. Each swallows an ingestible radio thermometer that relays deep body temperature to the chest monitor every 15 seconds via Bluetooth. Orcasitas and her two colleagues will record each firefighter’s activities, be it cutting down trees, digging a fire break, or burning vegetation to keep a larger fire away. It’s all part of a study to assess heat exposure in wildlands firefighters—the biggest ever to do so. From 2013 through 2016, more than 300 firefighters participated.

High body temperatures are inevitable in firefighting: A study in 2013 uncovered about 50 heat-related injuries across the United States during that fire season. But other data from their project have surprised Orcasitas and her colleagues. Warmth from the firefighters’ physical exertion, not heat from the fires, was the greatest danger, the researchers found. Another surprise: “The assumption across the fire community was that if somebody went down, it was because they just didn’t drink enough water,” Orcasitas says. But the team found otherwise. “You can’t drink yourself out of a heat-related injury,” explains project leader Joseph Domitrovich, an exercise physiologist at the U.S. Forest Service’s National Technology and Development Program. “It’s not the magic bullet that people thought.” …  article continued at:


CIAC Distributes Cold Water Immersion Tubs to 74 Schools (CIAC Sports)

CIAC Distributes Cold Water Immersion Tubs to 74 Schools

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced today the distribution of cold water immersion tubs to 74 CIAC member schools throughout Connecticut. The tubs will be used by school athletic departments as a means of emergency treatment for athletes who incur heat illness brought on through participation in sports.

New emergency medical guidance requires that victims of heat illness are cooled as soon as possible in order to prevent serious consequences which could be life threatening. Nearly all other serious emergencies and injuries require stabilization and rapid transport to the hospital. Schools contract with local EMT services for that transportation. The revised guidelines still require calling 911 immediately, however the new regulations stipulate that for heat illness the victim’s body temperature must be lowered before transportation.

“The best way to lower body temperature for a victim of heat illness is to submerge the athlete in a cold water tub filled with ice,” said Marc Aceto, athletic trainer at East Haven High School. “Having a cold water immersion tub in proximity to athletic practices and contest venues is an essential part of all high school athletic emergency action plans.”

“We at the CIAC make student safety our first priority,” said CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini. “We are glad to purchase and distribute these tubs to our schools that need them in order to help them keep kids safe during an emergency.”

The CIAC surveyed schools about their needs to fulfill an emergency action plan at each school. Athletic directors indicated that there was a need to acquire new tubs as the guidelines had changed. For those schools who didn’t have a tub, the CIAC provided one. The CIAC purchased the tubs with support from H.W. Hine Hardware in Cheshire, an ACE Hardware affiliate.

Aceto, who serves as the liaison to the Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association (CATA) for the CIAC, along with Samantha Scarneo-Miller, from the Korey Stringer Institute advised the CIAC in preparing a new Medical Handbook. The handbook was distributed to all CIAC schools last summer and includes a sample Emergency Action Plan with up-to-date guidelines for treating athletes suffering from heat illness.

CATA president Perry Siegel who serves on the CIAC Sports Medical Committee along with other members of the CATA offered to distribute the tubs to schools who were not able to pick them up at H.W. Hine, an undertaking that began on November 5th.

Lungarini was quick to recognize the collaborative effort; “CATA, The Korey Stringer Institute and the CIAC Staff all worked together to provide current information and support to our member school athletic departments. We want all of our schools to have the most up-to-date training and to be prepared for all athletic emergencies.”

Article here: CIAC Sports

NFL Partner Korey Stringer Institute Drives Progress in Safety (Player Health)

Published: October 16, 2020

“In September 2017, the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) published a report providing a snapshot of state-level policies concerning sudden death and catastrophic injuries in high school sports. Since this initial landscape analysis and a robust effort to strengthen these policies across the country, 38 states have adopted legislative or State High School Athletic Association changes improving on that baseline. This remarkable progress was chronicled in KSI’s most recent policy evaluation report, released in August 2020.

It’s no coincidence that three-quarters of states have adopted changes in just three years. This nationwide movement towards stronger safety rules has been driven by the work of Team Up for Sports Safety (TUFSS), a KSI-led initiative aiming to propel the adoption of high school athletic policies proven to reduce the incidence of catastrophic sports injuries. The rapid, widespread success of TUFSS has been fueled by robust support from the National Football League Foundation and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association along with numerous private donors.

As part of the TUFSS initiative, KSI hosts meetings within states and invites local high school sports leaders and policy makers to engage in conversation aimed as fueling the adoption of health and safety policies that enhance the wellbeing of high school student athletes. Through the implementation of TUFSS-recommended policies and procedures, schools can be well prepared in the unfortunate event of a catastrophic injury, helping to reduce risk of athlete fatality from sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries, exertional heat stroke, and exertional sickling.

Research, Advocacy and Education

The Korey Stringer Institute draws its name and inspiration from Korey Stringer, a Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman who passed away from exertional heat stroke in 2001. In an effort to prevent additional exertional heat stroke deaths, Stringer’s widow, Kelci, joined forces with exertional heat stroke expert Dr. Douglas Casa at the University of Connecticut to form KSI, which launched in April 2010. KSI’s mission is to provide research, education, advocacy and consultation to maximize performance, optimize safety and prevent sudden death for the athlete, warfighter and laborer”

The entirety of article can be found here: Player Health & Safety Article October 2020