- Acclimatization to warm climates
- Recently ill or persons recuperating from a febrile illness should be discouraged from participating in endurance races.
- Prompt diagnosis.
- Routine screening.
- Don’t forget water.
It is recommended that athletes give themselves a 10 to 14 days period of environmental acclimatization before engaging in endurance races. Event planners should also acknowledge the need for athlete proper adjustment to the racing environment. Of 10.9 million runners assessed in the United States during a 10 years period, 59 (incidence rate: 0.54 per 100,000 participants) had cardiac arrest.
Exercising imposes heat stress on the body and elimination of body heat is necessary for proper adjustment. Fever impairs the ability of the body to do this.
When heat stroke is promptly diagnosed, health care providers can immediately initiate cooling therapy. Athlete’s temperatures are usually monitored using rectal or core probes and where necessary, cooling procedures are instantly instituted. It is a challenge though to record core body temperatures during physical activity. A potential solution is an ingestible telemetric body core temperature sensor.
Mandatory screening of all athletes prior to participation in competitive sports has been recommended where cardiac death is a possibility. For screening to work, the benefits should be higher than the costs, effective tests should be available, and it can be proved that avoidance will prevent the risk. Some events carry out a pre-participation electrocardiogram (ECG) screening. Exercise or cardiac stress testing have also been used. Some events require participants sign a declaration of “good health” which might not be adequate enough.
Ingest adequate amount of water during sporting activities, including endurance races. Also, take electrolyte drinks and have frequent rest breaks.