In preparation for summer training camp, members of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) participated in an exertional heat stroke (EHS) lab. EHS is the third leading cause of sudden death in high school athletes. Improper identification and treatment of patients suffering from EHS contribute to the high death rate. Patients suffering from EHS have a 100% survival rate when immediate cooling is initiated within 10 minutes of collapse.
New Jersey athletic trainers received hands-on instruction on how to identify and treat exertional heat stroke. These healthcare professionals respond to athletes suffering from EHS during practices or training events.
“Athletic trainers are often the first medical professionals responding to athletes suffering from exertional heat stroke. Having an athletic trainer that can properly identify and treat exertional heat stroke is something every New Jersey athlete deserves,” said Jessica Springstead, President of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey, Inc.
Dr. Samantha Scarneo-Miller, an expert in safety policies and procedures, presented on the topic of exertional heat stroke. Dr. Scarneo-Miller serves as Program Director and Assistant Professor for the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) program at West Virginia University. Previously, she served as Vice President of Sport Safety at the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI). KSI was developed in memory of Korey Stringer, Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman, who died from EHS in 2001. KSI is known for their research in student-athlete safety and sudden death in sport.
The event, Emergency Planning in Athletics: Recognition & Treatment of Exertional Heat Stroke Learning Lab, was presented by Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) and SD GameDay. Red Bank Regional High School hosted the event on August 8, 2021.
EHS Facts All Athletic Trainers Should Know
- EHS is categorized as a core body temperature > 105° F (40.5° C)
- Patients suffering from EHS need to have their core body temperature cooled to 101-102° F
- The two main criteria to diagnose EHS is a rectal temperature > 105° F and CNS dysfunction (dizziness, irritable behavior, collapse).
- Being trained in rectal temperature monitoring and active cooling techniques are essential to patient safety and ensuring the standard of care is met.
- NOT TAKING RECTAL TEMPERATURE LEAVES ATHLETIC TRAINERS LIABLE!
- EHS has a 100% survival rate when immediate cooling was initiated within 10 minutes of collapse.
For more information about EHS and sudden death in sport go to: