Different Result

August 17, 2018

Quick thinking from athletic trainers at Texas A&M University helped prevent serious complications when a football player suffered heatstroke after a spring practice. According to the Dallas News, Koda Martin, a former senior offensive lineman made a full recovery within a few days of the incident thanks to the medical staff’s treatment.

There weren’t any indications that the practice would’ve been problematic for Martin. The day’s high temperature was 83 degrees and the workout wasn’t demanding—plus it had been one of Martin’s best practices.

After the workout ended, though, Martin seemed off. His temperature is reported to have gotten to 106 degrees.

“Those are things you worry about as a coach,” Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M Head Football Coach, said. “You don’t ever want anybody to get hurt on your watch.”

The medical staff worked quickly to decrease Martin’s temperature, getting him into an ice tub while others called for an ambulance. After help arrived, they continued working to bring his temperature down while his organs were beginning to fail.

“They likely saved his life,” Kirk Martin, Koda’s father, said about the Texas A&M medical staff.

This was a drastically different outcome than seen following a similar incident at the University of Maryland, where offensive lineman Jordan McNair collapsed during a team workout. He later died due to complications from heatstroke.

“Obviously, we misdiagnosed and did not act accordingly, did not act appropriately in response to Jordan’s situation,” Damon Evans, Athletic Director at the University of Maryland, said.

As was the case for Texas A&M, using cold-water immersion is an important element in handling heatstroke. Although a number of proactive strategies—such as avoiding midday practice times, eliminating two-a-day practices, and emphasizing hydration—can help with preventing heatstroke, incidents can still happen.

The Houston Chronicle explains that Martin had taken part in about 40 plays during the practice that was held outside in full uniform. Toward the end of the practice, he had sprinted from sideline to sideline and back seven times—at that point, he wasn’t himself and had mistakenly put on a kicker’s helmet to continue with drills.

“Koda is a sweater,” Kirk Martin said. “He’s lost as much as 20 pounds of sweat during practice. He tries to win every sprint they have, and he just gives maximum effort. His body just quit.”

Thanks to the medical staff’s quick action, he recovered in three days.

In a Twitter post four days after the incident, Martin said he couldn't "thank Texas A&M staff and trainers enough for acting quickly" and providing the medical attention he needed.

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