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Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the smartest guy in the world. Well, maybe my wife would be the first to admit that for me, but I’d be a close second
But at least I’m not this guy!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the high school football team in McMinnville, Oregon and their “rare syndrome” that sent 19 members of their team to the hospital. If you haven’t hear about it, go ahead and crawl out from under your rock and let me Google it for you
and you’ll see every search result on the first page talking about it.
So, let’s take a closer look at the story as it’s being presented in the national media:
First, the team took part in an “immersion camp” held by the new first year coach to get them prepared for the upcoming football season. This camp had portions that were conducted in a wrestling room with temperatures reaching 115 degrees.
I don’t care how much water you are drinking (or not drinking because water is a “sign of weakness” according to some coaches). If you are in a room that is even 90+ degrees you will dehydrate, let alone the 100-115 degrees that has been reported!
And of course, the media is jumping all over the fact that the hospitalized athletes had extremely elevated levels of creatine kinase (CK) so creatine supplementation must be to blame, right? Well, I guess that makes perfect sense UNTIL you actually crack open a book and do a bit of research!
An athlete that takes creatine as a supplement will show slightly elevated levels of CK in their urine. These athletes had up to 1000 times the normal level! If an over the counter supplement could result in that type of increase there is no way that it would be legal…
But one thing that has not been mentioned is a condition known as rhabdomyolysis… why not? Because that would mean that the coach was a bonehead that worked his athletes right into the emergency rooms! And because nobody knows what rhabd-whatchmacallit is?!
So what exactly is rhabdomyolysis?
Well, according to Wikipedia
, Rhabdomyolysis is:
“the rapid breakdown (lysis
) of skeletal muscle
) due to injury to muscle tissue. The muscle damage may be caused by physical (e.g., crush injury), chemical, or biological factors. The destruction of the muscle leads to the release of the breakdown products of damaged muscle cells
into the bloodstream; some of these, such as myoglobin
), are harmful to the kidney
and may lead to acute kidney failure
. Treatment is with intravenous
fluids, and dialysis
“The most reliable test in the diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis is the level of creatine kinase
(CK) in the blood. This enzyme is released by damaged muscle, and levels above 5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) indicate rhabdomyolysis.”
is a clinical diagnosis (i.e. no tests conclusively prove its presence or absence), but direct measurement of the pressure in a fascial compartment may be used to assess its severity.”
And the causes of rhabdomyolysis?
“Recognized physical causes for rhabdomyolysis are:
- Traumatic compression of muscles: crush syndrome (e.g., in earthquakes), car accident, confinement in a fixed position (e.g. after a stroke, due to drunkenness or in prolonged surgery), physical torture or abuse
- Obstruction of blood supply to muscles: arterial thrombosis (blood clots forming locally) or embolism (clots or other debris from elsewhere in the body), clamping of an artery during surgery, generally reduced blood supply in shock or sepsis (due to any cause)
- Excessive muscle strain or activity: extreme physical exercise (particularly when poorly hydrated), delirium tremens (alcohol withdrawal), tetanus, prolonged seizures or status epilepticus”
So it sounds to me like these kids experienced an extremely high intensity workout with poor hydration levels or they were all in a serious car accident or earthquake…
Let’s stop beating around the bush here and trying to place the blame on a supplement that has a track record of being safe and instead call out the coach who put these kids in this situation.
We know they were in a 115 degree room, but what were they doing? What did the workouts consist of? Was there water or an electrolyte drink available? Let’s focus on the real root of the issue and not some innocent supplement that the athletes may or may not have been taking!
Sorry to be on my soap box about this, but with all of the great information available at your fingertips for training young athletes there is absolutely no excuse for something this stupid to happen to these kids!
Tags: baseball training, baseball workouts, Bonehead, football, guy, high school football, high school football team, mcminnville oregon, muscle, rare syndrome, school football team, training for baseball, water, workouts for baseball