GULF BREEZE, Fla. - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the leading causes of death and disability among high school student-athletes is heat illness during athletic practice or competition. Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and Baptist Health Care (BHC) are committed to providing a gold-standard of care for area high school student-athletes.
Andrews Institute and BHC provide certified athletic trainers (ATC) for all 23 public high schools in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. These ATCs are on-campus at partner high schools during Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) sponsored athletic practices and competition.
Andrews Institute ATCs participate in annual heat illness education that includes lab sessions on cold-water immersion and using devices that precisely monitor core body temperature. They work with Andrews Institute physicians, school administrators, athletic directors and school district officials to establish and revise heat safety guidelines to ensure they are maximizing preparedness to mitigate risk.
Andrews Institute sports medicine outreach continuously works to secure the latest and most effective heat-related emergency equipment. Andrews Institute ATCs ensure that cold-water tubs are available on campus for cold-water immersion in the event of a heat-related illness. They also work with area emergency medical service (EMS) personnel to review protocol in the event of a heat-related illness to continue cooling a patient with cold-water immersion until appropriate core temperature is reached prior to transport.
Sports medicine representatives also meet with football officials from the South East Football Officials Association of Pensacola to review important medical signs and symptoms they may encounter on a football field.
As the high school athletic seasons begin this fall and the temperatures remain high, Andrews Institute and BHC are dedicated to the care and well-being of area student-athletes. While Andrews Institute ATCs are focused on a number of possible athletic-related injuries, a large emphasis is placed on the identification of heat-related illness during athletic participation. If local athletes face a heat-related injury, Andrews Institute ATCs and team physicians are on the sidelines ready to assist, armed with extensive heat safety training and knowledge.