ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
64°
Cloudy
H 66° L 36°
  • cloudy-day
    64°
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 66° L 36°
  • cloudy-day
    37°
    Morning
    Cloudy. H 66° L 36°
  • cloudy-day
    45°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 47° L 29°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local
College football teams battle heat-related illnesses
Close

College football teams battle heat-related illnesses

College football teams battle heat-related illnesses
Photo Credit: Rick Couri
(Photo) University of Tulsa football practice field

College football teams battle heat-related illnesses

Being in the heat is something we all have to do.

But most of us aren’t doing more than running to and from our home, car and office.

However, football players around the country are returning to practice this week in the middle of one of the most brutal heat waves in years.

With heat related deaths of players tripling from 1994-2009, the people in charge of watching the health of those players are being extra vigilant.

Dave Polanski is the head athletic trainer at the University of Tulsa where practice began Thursday.

He told KRMG news he and his staff have a few particular challenges “teaching a young kid coming in what they have to do to prepare their bodies to sustain the effort through a two hour practice.”

Click here to listen to the extended interview with Polanski.

Even with education and prodding, some players don’t drink enough and suffer from the muscle cramps and disorientation that comes along with dehydration.

You might be surprised to find out how little you have to sweat to have a problem.

“If you lose two percent of your body weight your function and your performance will decrease,” Dave said. “Most of our players are over 200 pounds so that means if they lose just four pounds, they are compromised.”

But some of the guys go way beyond that.

“We have people who drop over 10 pounds in a practice but those are the bigger guys, the 300 pounders,” Polanski pointed out.

TU fights the heat with misting fans and huge ice bath tubs on the sidelines.

Some players are encouraged to get in the tubs after practice and some are told to.

Dave told us they also make adjustments to their practice times.

“We’re on the field at 7:30 a.m. and we’re off the field by 10:00 a.m.”

And during practice they push the players to drink constantly.

“We stop practices a couple of times and make sure everyone drinks a little bit of water,” Dave began. “Even letting the heart rate calm down will help them get through the remaining part of practice.”

As if the ambient temperature isn’t bad enough, the field gets even hotter.

“It was about 125 on the turf,” Dave said.

TU will move to the grass field from time to time to help out but it isn’t that different.

“The grass is still about 110.”

All schools provide electrolyte replacement drinks for their players as well as water, but most of us have heard teams are using chocolate milk as well.

A big jug of milk after an intense practice didn’t sound very appealing and it turns out it wouldn’t be.

“We use milk more after weight lifting,” Dave commented. “You’re right, milk after a hard work out wouldn’t be good,” he chuckled.

But Dave said to not sell milk short.

“It’s got the proteins and carbs in it that are the perfect mixture to help your muscles recover.”

I asked Dave if he had an opinion on why we’ve had more heat related problems and it turns out, he did.

“We spend our lives in air conditioning. Our bodies aren’t used to it and although we give our guys time to acclimatize it’s still not what they’re used to.”

Dave summed it up like this.

“Their daily life is not to be out in the heat.”

Until some cooler weather comes along, Polanski and his staff will be pushing players to drink more and take care of their bodies.

After all, you can’t win games with dehydrated players.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • Japan’s recent decision to up its patrols in response to rising appearances ofimplies there might be a serious problem with North Korea’s food supply. >> Read more trending newsThe Guardian reports that at least 28 North Korean boats washed ashore or were found adrift in Japanese waters, the result of North Korean fishermen’s decision to push farther and farther out to sea to make bigger catches for their military, citizens and exports to China. Several of the vessels found were “ghost ships,” labeled as such when found with either a dead or missing crew. Though the number of stray vessels found in Japan this year is consistent with last year’s number, some have expressed concern for the high number of ships found in November compared to the number found last November. The Washington Post offered possible explanations for the spike in appearances, including food shortages which may be the result of tougher sanctions recently passed against the country. “North Korean fishermen have to work harder than ever before, and they have to go farther out into the sea, but they don’t have new boats,” said Atsuhito Isozaki, associate professor of North Korean studies at Keio University in Tokyo. “Plus, North Korea doesn’t have enough gasoline anymore, so they’re running out of fuel.” The concerning state of North Koreans’ food supply was highlighted last month following the dramatic rescue of a North Korean soldier who defected while on duty. Oh Chong Song abandoned his post in November and began to run toward South Korea. He was shot at more than 40 times by his fellow soldiers, and at least five bullets hit him. South Korean soldiers were able to crawl to the area where he lay and he was transportedto a hospital by a United Nations Command helicopter. While rushing to save his life, trauma surgeon Lee Cook-Jong discovered parasitic worms, some were over 10 inches long, in the soldier’s digestive tract. The worms, which have been discovered in other defectors, indicated the use of a detrimental, government-backed approach to health and agriculture in the country: night soil. “Night soil” is a fertilizer made up of human excrement and used by North Korean farmers. There is a perception in the country that night soil makes food taste better and the method has even been personally supported by dictator Kim Jong-Un. The five-hour surgery consisted of removing a bullet, fixing a number of wounds caused by the bullet and removing the parasitic worms that were making their way out of Oh Chong Song’s body. “In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Cook-Jong later said of the flesh-colored parasites he found.
  • Don’t accuse men of overreacting when they’re sick —, according to a new study. Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine with the Memorial University of Newfoundland, published an article in the British Medical Journal, contending that men seem to experience worse symptoms of cold an flu than women. >> Related: 7 ways to prevent your child from getting the flu this season Sue’s study also noted that U.S. research showed men had higher rates of deaths linked to flu compared to women of the same age. “I do think that the research does point towards men having a weaker immune response when it comes to common viral respiratory infections and the flu,” Sue told The Guardian. “This is shown in the fact that they [have] worse symptoms, they last longer, they are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from it.” In Ohio, for example, the flu seems to be impacting populations earlier than usual this year. The Ohio Department of Health said the state is above the five-year average for the number of cases reported at this time of year and “significantly higher” than the same time last year. 
  • The acting head of the Oklahoma State Department of Health says a $30 million cash infusion from the Legislature will help pay vendors and fund layoffs. Acting Oklahoma Health Commissioner Preston Doerflinger made the comments Monday during more than two hours of testimony before a House panel looking into the agency's budget problems. Doerflinger announced last week that 198 employees at the department would be laid off to reduce costs.  He says some of the $30 million will be used to give laid-off employees a cash payment equal to 18 months of health insurance premiums. Doerflinger says more systemic changes are needed to permanently stabilize the agency after years of mismanagement.
  • The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents scheduled to meet Tuesday amid calls for board member Kirk Humphreys to resign. Humphreys compared gay people to pedophiles during an interview with an Oklahoma City television station that aired on Sunday. An OU alumni group called for his resignation. The student body president encouraged the campus to voice its opinion on Humphreys' 'ignorant' words.” OU's president said he disagreed with the views. Humphreys said in a statement Monday night that he regretted his comments and that he didn't mean to equate gay people with pedophiles.