Norman Regional Health Foundation and Ortho Central announced a major step in helping Oklahoma’s student-athletes prevent heat exhaustion and stroke as temperatures rise and summer team workouts resume.
The organizations donated cooling tubs to 37 schools, which includes high schools and middle schools in Norman, Moore and Noble.
The tubs are designed for student-athletes showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke to immerse themselves in ice water, helping lower their body temperature as they await further medical attention. This resource is especially important as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Student-athletes are still reacclimating their bodies to the heat and strenuous workouts after high school sports shut down in March due to the pandemic.
Both the extended period of staying indoors and time off from practice and competition is a major concern to student-athletes’ health as they return to their sports, according to James Bond, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Ortho Central.
Norman Regional Health Foundation and Ortho Central demonstrated how the cooling tubs work at Harve Collines Field Wednesday afternoon.
Student-athletes in need of a cool down will be lifted and placed in the ice water. Once they’re in the tub and stabilized, another round of ice water will be poured into the tub with the student-athlete.
Dr. Ted Boehm, a sports medicine physician at Ortho Central, said the process’ simplicity will help teams to utilize the process, even when an athletic trainer isn’t present at practice.
The added resource is a major benefit to school districts like Norman, which has actively put together safety measures amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Our No. 1 priority should always be the health and safety of our student-athletes and preventive measures that we can keep them safe is just another step in that direction to get that done,” said TD O’Hara, Norman Public Schools athletics director.
“We're very appreciative and always thankful for the partnership that we've had with Norman Regional and Ortho Central here moving forward and hope to continue that for many years to come.”
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