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AdventHealth has donated more than $8,000 worth of equipment to help prevent and treat heat-related illnesses for Volusia County student-athletes. Donated items include cold-water immersion tubs, ice containers, thermometers, and “grab and go” emergency medical bags with all the equipment necessary for managing exertional heat illness.

This donation also included wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) thermometers, which measure the heat stress in direct sunlight and take into account: temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover. This differs from the heat index, which is calculated for shady areas and considers only temperature and humidity.

The WBGT thermometers are key prevention tools for exertional heat illness, as they help identify weather conditions that are unsafe for student-athletes to practice or compete in, or that a practice should be altered to ensure the safety of the student-athletes.

Exertional heat illness is a serious medical condition that happens when the body is unable to cool down and overheats. It can be triggered by physical exertion, like playing sports, particularly in the hot and humid conditions that are common in Florida.

When the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit, this can become a life-threatening emergency that can cause long-term damage to the brain, liver, kidneys and other organs, as well as death.

In Florida, exertional heat illness is one of the top three causes for catastrophic injury or death of football players in high school and college. When treated promptly and correctly, exertional heat illness is a catastrophic injury that is 100% survivable.

This donation is part of AdventHealth’s $2 million partnership with Volusia County Schools. As part of the historic agreement, AdventHealth is committed to streamline and coordinate care for the 5,000 student-athletes at Volusia County Schools. Last year, the hospital system focused on improving concussion protocols.

Encompassing six AdventHealth hospitals in Volusia, Flagler and Lake counties, the AdventHealth Central Florida Division – North Region is the largest hospital system in the area, with 1,193 beds and more than 8,000 team members. The North Region includes facilities in DeLand, Orange City, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Palm Coast and Tavares.

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