It’s hot outside and the NFL is taking notice.
With every team in the midst of training camp and temperatures rising throughout the country, the league is taking extra precautions to protect players from heat-related illnesses.
The NFL distributed a video, produced by the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute, providing instruction to all clubs on on how to prevent, identify, assess and treat exertional heat stroke.
“It is imperative that medical personnel and coaching staffs quickly recognize [the signs of heat stroke] and initiate appropriate care,” Dr. Douglas J. Casa, a UConn professor and CEO of KSI, said. “The key determinant for outcome of exertional heat stroke is the number of minutes the athlete is severely hyperthermic. The goal is to minimize the number of minutes their core temperature is above 104-105 degrees.”
NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills encouraged team physicians and trainers in a communication to club clinicians to watch and share the video so that they’re prepared to respond appropriately to heat-related illness.
“Especially in the heat conditions we are experiencing in most of the country this summer, we must be vigilant,” said Dr. Sills. “This is an area where we can never become complacent, and the opening of our training camps is the league’s period of greatest risk.”
Dr. Casa added that the information is pertinent to those competing outside in sports at all levels in this climate.
“The basic sports medicine concepts to prevent, recognize and treat exertional heatstroke are not confined to the elite athletes in the NFL,” he said. “This information should be applied for a high school football player, at a youth soccer tournament or collegiate cross-country invitational.”