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Exertional Heat Stroke within Secondary School Athletics

Adams, William M. PhD, LAT, ATC

Current Sports Medicine Reports: April 2019 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 149–153
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000585
Environmental Conditions/Special Communication

Exertional heat stroke (EHS) remains one of the leading causes of sudden death in sport despite clear evidence showing 100% survivability with the proper standards of care in place and utilized. Of particular concern are student athletes competing at the secondary school level, where the extent of appropriate health care services remains suboptimal compared with organized athletics at the collegiate level and higher. While rapid recognition and rapid treatment of EHS ensures survival, the adoption and implementation of these lifesaving steps within secondary school athletics warrant further discussion within the sports medicine community. Establishing proper policies regarding the prevention and care of EHS coupled with utilizing an interdisciplinary care approach is essential for 1) minimizing risk and 2) guaranteeing optimal outcomes for the patient.

Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

Address for correspondence: William M. Adams, PhD, LAT, ATC, Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina Greensboro, 1408 Walker Avenue, 237L, Coleman Building, Greensboro, NC 27412; E-mail:

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Sports Medicine.