Due to the warm weather conditions and the prolonged physical activity without water, it is easy to recognize that the player is experiencing extreme dehydration and is probably suffering from an exertional heat stroke. The biggest indicator that the player is having a heat stroke is due to the fact that he appears to be unconscious after having been what seemed to be extremely disoriented during the 50-yard sprints. Along with the flushed dry skin and the rapid shallow breaths, the victim may also experience muscle weakness or cramps, nausea or vomiting, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and in an extreme case possibly a seizure. Due to the severity of this condition, 911 must be called immediately. Once EMS has been activated, I would remove any unnecessary padding or clothing and move the person to an air-conditioned environment or at least a shady area to begin the cooling process. Next I would begin to apply cool water to the skin and place ice packs near major arteries such as the ones in the neck, groin, and back. It would also be a good idea to continuously fan the victims face in order to provide constant air flow until help arrives. There are many things that could have been done in order to prevent this heat illness from happening. Appropriate acclimatization is a huge factor in heat illness prevention. The time of the practice could have been adjusted so that they wouldn’t have been practicing in the extreme heat. Also the athlete could have frequently removed his helmet for cooling. It’s important that the players have many rest breaks to drink fluids. An abundant amount of fluid intake is crucial prior to the practice as well.
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