Protecting Athletes

AdventHealth has donated over $8,000 of equipment to help prevent and treat heat-related illnesses for Volusia County student athletes. From left are Pine Ridge High School athletic director John New and athletic trainer Tori Haire with Erik Nason sports medicine outreach coordinator for AdventHealth.

AdventHealth has donated more than $8,000 of equipment to help prevent and treat heat-related illnesses for Volusia County student athletes.

The gear includes cold water immersion tubs, ice containers, thermometers, and “grab and go” emergency medical bags.

The donation also included wet-bulb globe temperature thermometers, which measures the heat stress in direct sunlight and take into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover. This differs from the heat index, which is calculated for shady areas and considers only temperature and humidity.

The WBGT thermometers are key prevention tools for exertional heat illness as they help identify weather conditions that are unsafe for student athletes to practice or compete in, or that a practice should be altered to ensure the safety of the student athletes.

Exertional heat illness is a serious medical condition that happens when the body is unable to cool down and overheats. It can be triggered by physical exertion, like playing sports, particularly in the hot and humid conditions that are common in Florida.

When the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees F, it can become a life-threatening emergency that can cause long-term damage to the brain, liver, kidneys and other organs, as well as death.

In Florida, exertional heat illness is one of the top three causes for catastrophic injury/death of football players in high school and college. When treated promptly and correctly, it is 100% survivable.

Th donation is part of AdventHealth’s $2 million partnership with Volusia County Schools. AdventHealth is committed to streamline and coordinate care for the 5,000 student athletes. Last year, the hospital system focused on improving concussion protocols.

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