Epidemiology: Can occur at any age and is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
Mechanism of Injury/Description: Heat stroke is described as hyperthermia and central nervous system dysfunction from “over heating.” The gymnast’s body temperature will be above 104 degrees F (40.5 degrees Celsius).
Signs/Symptoms: Increased heart rate, confusion, seizures, and lack of sweating are all signs and symptoms of heat stroke.
Diagnosis: Heat stroke is diagnosed by a physical exam which shows increased heart rate, confusion, seizures, lack of sweating, and a temperature above 104 degrees F (40.5 degrees Celsius).
Treatment: The treatment for heat stroke is to lower the gymnast’s body temperature with ice bath submersion, cooling blanket, fanning, and IV hydration.
Prevention: To prevent heat stroke stay hydrated, check temperatures in gymnastics facilities, and allow time for breaks/rest when temperatures increase.
Gymnastics Medical Provider PEARLS: This is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Have an emergency action in place if this were to occur.
Gymnast, Parent, and Coach PEARLS: This is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Especially during summer and warm months make sure your gymnast has plenty of water and sports drinks (electrolytes) as well as explain the signs and symptoms of heat stroke to your gymnast so that he/she can understand this and look for this not only for themselves but also for their teammates.