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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182619018
Original Articles

Acute Cardiovascular Effects of Firefighting and Active Cooling During Rehabilitation

Burgess, Jefferey L. MD, MS, MPH; Duncan, Michael D. BA; Hu, Chengcheng PhD; Littau, Sally R. BS; Caseman, Delayne MPH; Kurzius-Spencer, Margaret MS, MPH; Davis-Gorman, Grace BS; McDonagh, Paul F. PhD

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Abstract

Objectives: To determine the cardiovascular and hemostatic effects of fire suppression and postexposure active cooling.

Methods: Forty-four firefighters were evaluated before and after a 12-minute live-fire drill. Next, 50 firefighters performing the same drill were randomized to undergo postfire forearm immersion in 10°C water or standard rehabilitation.

Results: In the first study, heart rate and core body temperature increased and serum C-reactive protein decreased but there were no significant changes in fibrinogen, sE-selectin, or sL-selectin. The second study demonstrated an increase in blood coagulability, leukocyte count, factors VIII and X, cortisol, and glucose, and a decrease in plasminogen and sP-selectin. Active cooling reduced mean core temperature, heart rate, and leukocyte count.

Conclusions: Live-fire exposure increased core temperature, heart rate, coagulability, and leukocyte count; all except coagulability were reduced by active cooling.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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