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NATA: For Heat Stroke Victims, Cool First, Then Transport

New guidelines stress the importance of immediate cooling for athletes

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines released Friday by the National Athletic Trainer's Association say heat stroke victims need immediate cooling before they are taken to a hospital. The new guidelines were presented at the annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers Association, held from June 25 to 28 in Indianapolis.

Related research was also set to be presented at the meeting. Researchers at the University of Connecticut tested the effects of new hand-cooling gloves. Thirteen healthy males in their 20s walked quickly on a treadmill in full football gear for 90 minutes. Every 15 minutes or so, some of the volunteers took a break to wear the new hand-cooling gloves for three minutes at a stretch.

At the end of the session, the men who had worn the cooling gloves had core body temperatures that were lower than the men who hadn't had any cooling. The results were strongest in men who'd also received replacement fluids during their hand-cooling sessions.

Another study tested the effects of a special shirt that circulates cold water over the torso through sewn-in tubes. Compared to a cotton t-shirt, the cooling shirt didn't lower core body temperature, but it did reduce how much water athletes lost through sweat, which the study authors think might help people better withstand hot weather workouts.

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