Preventing Heat Stroke

January 31, 2018

Last week, the Florida High School Athletic Association held a discussion with sports doctors in Gainesville, Fla., about how to safeguard high school student-athletes, seven months after a football player died of heat stroke.

According to WCJB, Laurie Giordano, a parent, said her son, Zachary, collapsed during a huddle after running drills on June 29, 2017. He died 10 days later from heat stroke, despite his teammates' efforts to save him.

"His teammates were trying to give him water,” Giordano said. “He was not swallowing. He was having a seizure."

At the meeting, the FHSAA, along with the Florida Alliance for Sports Medicine and University of Florida Health Doctors, discussed methods of preventing heat stroke. They proposed requiring athletic trainers at each sporting event, temperature readings with WetBulb, and cold water immersion tubs.

"The use of cold water immersion would have greatly benefited Zach," Giordano said. "From the time that he went down until the time he arrived at the ER it was an hour and 15 minutes. His temperature when he arrived at the ER was 107 degrees."

Bryan Prine, a UF Health Sports Medicine Physician, said that reducing athletes' temperatures to 102 degrees before transporting them could guarantee their survival.

Giordano created the Zach Martin foundation in her son's name, hoping to spread awareness to parents of other student-athletes.

"My son was a 6'4", 320 lb lineman and there is a huge hole physically in our lives," Giordano said.

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