Special Issue "Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1010-660X). This special issue belongs to the section "Sports Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Susan W. Yeargin
Website
Chief Guest Editor
Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
Interests: heat stroke; athletes; pediatrics; heat illness recognition; prevention; hydration behaviors
Prof. Dr. Douglas J. Casa
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 06269 USA
Interests: hydration; exericse in heat; thermoregulation; heat stroke; maximizing performance in the heat
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are honored to announce a forthcoming Special Issue that will focus on the prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses. Our approach will offer a contemporary look at best practices, emerging technologies, the translational potential of research findings, and real-world challenges being faced by youth athletes all the way through the upcoming heat issues of the 2020 IOC Tokyo Olympics/2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup and recent learnings from the 2019 Track and Field World Championships.

Dr. Susan W. Yeargin
Prof. Dr. Douglas J. Casa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • exertional heat stroke
  • cold water immersion
  • exertional heat illness
  • heat exhaustion
  • exercise in the heat

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Heat-Related Illnesses Transported by United States Emergency Medical Services
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100543 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
Background and objectives: Heat-related illness (HRI) can have significant morbidity and mortality consequences. Research has predominately focused on HRI in the emergency department, yet health care leading up to hospital arrival can impact patient outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Heat-related illness (HRI) can have significant morbidity and mortality consequences. Research has predominately focused on HRI in the emergency department, yet health care leading up to hospital arrival can impact patient outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe HRI in the prehospital setting. Materials and Methods: A descriptive epidemiological design was utilized using data from the National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Information System for the 2017–2018 calendar years. Variables of interest in this study were: patient demographics (age, gender, race), US census division, urbanicity, dispatch timestamp, incident disposition, primary provider impression, and regional temperatures. Results: There were 34,814 HRIs reported. The majority of patients were white (n = 10,878, 55.6%), males (n = 21,818, 62.7%), and in the 25 to 64 age group (n = 18,489, 53.1%). Most HRIs occurred in the South Atlantic US census division (n = 11,732, 33.7%), during the summer (n = 23,873, 68.6%), and in urban areas (n = 27,541, 83.5%). The hottest regions were East South Central, West South Central, and South Atlantic, with peak summer temperatures in excess of 30.0 °C. In the spring and summer, most regions had near normal temperatures within 0.5 °C of the long-term mean. EMS dispatch was called for an HRI predominately between the hours of 11:00 a.m.–6:59 p.m. (n = 26,344, 75.7%), with the majority (27,601, 79.3%) of HRIs considered heat exhaustion and requiring the patient to be treated and transported (n = 24,531, 70.5%). Conclusions: All age groups experienced HRI but particularly those 25 to 64 years old. Targeted education to increase public awareness of HRI in this age group may be needed. Region temperature most likely explains why certain divisions of the US have higher HRI frequency. Afternoons in the summer are when EMS agencies should be prepared for HRI activations. EMS units in high HRI frequency US divisions may need to carry additional treatment interventions for all HRI types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemically Activated Cooling Vest’s Effect on Cooling Rate Following Exercise-Induced Hyperthermia: A Randomized Counter-Balanced Crossover Study
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100539 - 14 Oct 2020
Abstract
Background and objectives: Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is a potentially lethal, hyperthermic condition that warrants immediate cooling to optimize the patient outcome. The study aimed to examine if a portable cooling vest meets the established cooling criteria (0.15 °C·min−1 or greater) for [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is a potentially lethal, hyperthermic condition that warrants immediate cooling to optimize the patient outcome. The study aimed to examine if a portable cooling vest meets the established cooling criteria (0.15 °C·min−1 or greater) for EHS treatment. It was hypothesized that a cooling vest will not meet the established cooling criteria for EHS treatment. Materials and Methods: Fourteen recreationally active participants (mean ± SD; male, n = 8; age, 25 ± 4 years; body mass, 86.7 ± 10.5 kg; body fat, 16.5 ± 5.2%; body surface area, 2.06 ± 0.15 m2. female, n = 6; 22 ± 2 years; 61.3 ± 6.7 kg; 22.8 ± 4.4%; 1.66 ± 0.11 m2) exercised on a motorized treadmill in a hot climatic chamber (ambient temperature 39.8 ± 1.9 °C, relative humidity 37.4 ± 6.9%) until they reached rectal temperature (TRE) >39 °C (mean TRE, 39.59 ± 0.38 °C). Following exercise, participants were cooled using either a cooling vest (VEST) or passive rest (PASS) in the climatic chamber until TRE reached 38.25 °C. Trials were assigned using randomized, counter-balanced crossover design. Results: There was a main effect of cooling modality type on cooling rates (F[1, 24] = 10.46, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.30), with a greater cooling rate observed in VEST (0.06 ± 0.02 °C·min−1) than PASS (0.04 ± 0.01 °C·min−1) (MD = 0.02, 95% CI = [0.01, 0.03]). There were also main effects of sex (F[1, 24] = 5.97, p = 0.02, η2p = 0.20) and cooling modality type (F[1, 24] = 4.38, p = 0.047, η2p = 0.15) on cooling duration, with a faster cooling time in female (26.9 min) than male participants (42.2 min) (MD = 15.3 min, 95% CI = [2.4, 28.2]) and faster cooling duration in VEST than PASS (MD = 13.1 min, 95% CI = [0.2, 26.0]). An increased body mass was associated with a decreased cooling rate in PASS (r = −0.580, p = 0.03); however, this association was not significant in vest (r = −0.252, p = 0.39). Conclusions: Although VEST exhibited a greater cooling capacity than PASS, VEST was far below an acceptable cooling rate for EHS treatment. VEST should not replace immediate whole-body cold-water immersion when EHS is suspected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Field Position on Fluid Balance and Electrolyte Losses in Collegiate Women’s Soccer Players
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100502 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background and objectives: Research investigating hydration strategies specialized for women’s soccer players is limited, despite the growth in the sport. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of fluid balance and electrolyte losses in collegiate women’s soccer players. Materials [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Research investigating hydration strategies specialized for women’s soccer players is limited, despite the growth in the sport. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of fluid balance and electrolyte losses in collegiate women’s soccer players. Materials and Methods: Eighteen NCAA Division I women’s soccer players were recruited (age: 19.2 ± 1.0 yr; weight: 68.5 ± 9.0 kg, and height: 168.4 ± 6.7 cm; mean ± SD), including: 3 forwards (FW), 7 mid-fielders (MD), 5 defenders (DF), and 3 goalkeepers (GK). Players practiced outdoor during spring off-season training camp for a total 14 practices (WBGT: 18.3 ± 3.1 °C). The main outcome measures included body mass change (BMC), sweat rate, urine and sweat electrolyte concentrations, and fluid intake. Results: Results were analyzed for comparison between low (LOW; 16.2 ± 2.6° C, n = 7) and moderate risk environments for hyperthermia (MOD; 20.5 ± 1.5 °C, n = 7) as well as by field position. The majority (54%) of players were in a hypohydrated state prior to practice. Overall, 26.7% of players had a %BMC greater than 0%, 71.4% of players had a %BMC less than −2%, and 1.9% of players had a %BMC greater than −2% (all MD position). Mean %BMC and sweat rate in all environmental conditions were −0.4 ± 0.4 kg (−0.5 ± 0.6% body mass) and 1.03 ± 0.21 mg·cm−2·min−1, respectively. In the MOD environment, players exhibited a greater sweat rate (1.07 ± 0.22 mg·cm−2·min−1) compared to LOW (0.99 ± 0.22 mg·cm−2·min−1; p = 0.02). By position, DF had a greater total fluid intake and a lower %BMC compared to FW, MD, and GK (all p < 0.001). FW had a greater sweat sodium (Na+) (51.4 ± 9.8 mmol·L−1), whereas GK had the lowest sweat sodium (Na+) (30.9 ± 3.9 mmol·L−1). Conclusions: Hydration strategies should target pre-practice to ensure players are adequately hydrated. Environments deemed to be of moderate risk of hyperthermia significantly elevated the sweat rate but did not influence fluid intake and hydration status compared to low-risk environments. Given the differences in fluid balance and sweat responses, recommendations should be issued relative to soccer position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Open AccessArticle
Emergency Medical Service Directors’ Protocols for Exertional Heat Stroke
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100494 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Emergency Medical Service (EMS) protocols vary widely and may not implement best practices for exertional heat stroke (EHS). EHS is 100% survivable if best practices are implemented within 30 min. The purpose of this study is to compare EMS protocols [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Emergency Medical Service (EMS) protocols vary widely and may not implement best practices for exertional heat stroke (EHS). EHS is 100% survivable if best practices are implemented within 30 min. The purpose of this study is to compare EMS protocols to best practices for recognizing and treating EHS. Materials and Methods: Individuals (n = 1350) serving as EMS Medical or Physician Director were invited to complete a survey. The questions related to the EHS protocols for their EMS service. 145 individuals completed the survey (response rate = 10.74%). Chi-Squared Tests of Associations (χ2) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% CI were calculated to determine the prevalence of implementing best practices based on location, working with an athletic trainer, number of EHS cases, and years of directing. All PRs whose 95% CIs excluded 1.00 were considered statistically significant; Chi-Squared values with p values < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: A majority of the respondents reported not using rectal thermometry for the diagnosis of EHS (n = 102, 77.93%) and not using cold water immersion for the treatment of EHS (n = 102, 70.34%). If working with an athletic trainer, EMS is more likely to implement best-practice treatment (i.e., cold-water immersion and cool-first transport-second) (69.6% vs. 36.9%, χ2 = 8.480, p < 0.004, PR = 3.15, 95% CI = 1.38, 7.18). Conclusions: These findings demonstrate a lack of implementation of best-practice standards for EHS by EMS. Working with an athletic trainer appears to increase the likelihood of following best practices. Efforts should be made to improve EMS providers’ implementation of best-practice standards for the diagnosis and management of EHS to optimize patient outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Open AccessArticle
Exertional Heat Illness Preparedness Strategies: Environmental Monitoring Policies in United States High Schools
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100486 - 23 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background and objectives: Environmental monitoring allows for an analysis of the ambient conditions affecting a physically active person’s ability to thermoregulate and can be used to assess exertional heat illness risk. Using public health models such as the precaution adoption process model (PAPM) [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Environmental monitoring allows for an analysis of the ambient conditions affecting a physically active person’s ability to thermoregulate and can be used to assess exertional heat illness risk. Using public health models such as the precaution adoption process model (PAPM) can help identify individual’s readiness to act to adopt environmental monitoring policies for the safety of high school athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the adoption of policies and procedures used for monitoring and modifying activity in the heat in United States (US) high schools. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, we distributed an online questionnaire to athletic trainers (ATs) working in high schools in the US. The questionnaire was developed based on best practice standards related to environmental monitoring and modification of activity in the heat as outlined in the 2015 National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illness. The PAPM was used to frame questions as it allows for the identification of ATs’ readiness to act. PAPM includes eight stages: unaware of the need for the policy, unaware if the school has this policy, unengaged, undecided, decided not to act, decided to act, acting, and maintaining. Invitations were sent via email and social media and resulted in 529 complete responses. Data were aggregated and presented as proportions. Results: Overall, 161 (161/529, 30.4%) ATs report they do not have a written policy and procedure for the prevention and management of exertional heat stroke. The policy component with the highest adoption was modifying the use of protective equipment (acting = 8.2%, maintaining = 77.5%). In addition, 28% of ATs report adoption of all seven components for a comprehensive environmental monitoring policy. Conclusions: These findings indicate a lack of adoption of environmental monitoring policies in US high schools. Secondarily, the PAPM, facilitators and barriers data highlight areas to focus future efforts to enhance adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of WBGTs over Different Surfaces within an Athletic Complex
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060313 - 25 Jun 2020
Abstract
Many athletic governing bodies are adopting on-site measurement of the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) as part of their heat safety policies. It is well known, however, that microclimatic conditions can vary over different surface types and a question is whether more than one [...] Read more.
Many athletic governing bodies are adopting on-site measurement of the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) as part of their heat safety policies. It is well known, however, that microclimatic conditions can vary over different surface types and a question is whether more than one WBGT sensor is needed to accurately capture local environmental conditions. Our study collected matched WBGT data over three commonly used athletic surfaces (grass, artificial turf, and hardcourt tennis) across an athletic complex on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Data were collected every 10 min from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. over a four-day period during July 2019. Results indicate that there is no difference in WBGT among the three surfaces, even when considered over morning, midday, and afternoon practice periods. We did observe microclimatic differences in dry-bulb temperature and dewpoint temperature among the sites. Greater dry-bulb and lower dewpoint temperatures occurred over the tennis and artificial turf surfaces compared with the grass field because of reduced evapotranspiration and increase convective transfers of sensible heat over these surfaces. The lack of difference in WBGT among the surfaces is attributed to the counterbalancing influences of the different components that comprise the index. We conclude that, in a humid, subtropical climate over well-watered grass, there is no difference in WBGT among the three athletic surfaces and that, under these circumstances, a single monitoring site can provide representative WBGTs for nearby athletic surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Regional Requirements Influence Adoption of Exertional Heat Illness Preparedness Strategies in United States High Schools
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100488 - 23 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background and objectives: Exertional heat stroke (EHS) continues to be a prevalent health issue affecting all athletes, including our pediatric populations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a state policy requirement for EHS prevention and treatment on [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Exertional heat stroke (EHS) continues to be a prevalent health issue affecting all athletes, including our pediatric populations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a state policy requirement for EHS prevention and treatment on local high school policy adoption in the United States (US). Materials and Methods: Athletic trainers (ATs) from high schools across the US participated in an online survey (n = 365). This survey inquired about their compliance with nine components of an EHS policy which was then compared to their state requirements for the policies. Evaluation of the number of components adopted between states with a requirement versus states without a requirement was conducted with a Wilcoxon Sign Rank test. Finally, an ordinal logistic regression with proportional odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were run to determine the effect of a state requirement and regional differences on the number of components adopted. Results: ATs working in states with a requirement reported adoption of more components in their heat modification policy compared to states that did not require schools to develop a heat modification policy (with requirement mean = 5.34 ± 3.68, median = 7.0; without requirement mean = 4.23 ± 3.59, median = 5.0; Z = −14.88, p < 0.001). ATs working in region 3 (e.g., hotter regions) reported adopting more components than those in region 1 (e.g., cooler regions) (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.215–4.201, p = 0.010). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a positive association between state policy requirements and subsequently increased local policy adoption for EHS policies. Additionally, the results demonstrate that regional differences exist, calling for the need for reducing disparities across the US. These findings may imply that policy adoption is a multifactorial process; furthermore, additional regional specific investigations must be conducted to determine the true determinants of high school policy adoption rates for EHS policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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