Unintentional Grounding: Collapse On The Football Field In A Division I Athlete - Page #1

Author: Phillip Sasser, MD
Co Author #1: Jeremy Kent, M.D.
Editor: Mandeep Ghuman, MD
Senior Editor: Mandeep Ghuman, MD
Editor: Robert Baker, MD, PhD, ATC

Patient Presentation:
An 18-year-old male football player with no significant PMH began displaying symptoms of lightheadedness, fatigue, and nausea during practice.

During practice on a mid-July day with a temperature of 90 degrees F and humidity of 52%, the football player was noticed to start displaying signs of illness including lightheadedness, fatigue, and nausea. 75 minutes into practice with reported water breaks every 10-12 minutes, the student-athlete was walking across the field when he fell into a seated, slumped-forward position without sustaining a head injury. His teammates tried to rouse him with cool water. The ATC placed the athlete supine and called EMS. 2-3 minutes later, a team physician found the patient to be minimally responsive with verbal grunts and inconsistent withdrawal to painful stimuli. EMS arrived on the field 10 minutes later.

Physical Exam:
Initial exam was performed by the sports medicine fellow. Vitals: Temp 109.1F rectally; HR 160 bmp; BP 105/55.
General: Diaphoretic with rare attempts to open eyes. Sweat saturated clothing.
Neuro: Inconsistent withdrawal to sternal rub. Constant verbal grunting.

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