April 30, 2015
1 min read

On-site treatments appear effective for athletes with exertional heat stroke

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According to recently published data, athletes treated on-site during foot races for exertional heat stroke generally responded well to cold-water immersion and other treatments.

Researchers evaluated race-day medical data of 32 patients who required medical care due to exertional heat stroke during participation in a half-marathon between 2005 and 2012. Treatments administered and patient outcomes were the primary metrics of study and were compared between patients treated on-site and those treated at local hospitals.

Overall, 22 patients (68.75%) were treated on-site, 68% of whom were treated using cold-water immersion. Discharge from the half-marathon to home was noted in 59% of patients. Of the 10 (31.25%) patients who were transported for treatment at a local hospital for exertional heat stroke, none underwent cold-water immersion and 40% were discharged after treatment. No fatalities were noted by the researchers.

The researchers concluded on-site treatment may be helpful in reducing the burden of critically ill individuals typically placed on local emergency departments during large athletic events. – by Christian Ingram

Disclosure: Sloan reports receiving research support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01DA026867.