Heat exhaustion has plagued fans at SHSU football games
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 00:10
With the rise of 2 p.m. football games at Sam Houston State University’s Bowers stadium, heat has been a problem for attendees, with heat exhaustion a rising concern for many.
Many people go out to the Sam Houston State University football games to cheer on the team, but several suffer from heat exhaustion and are taken out of the stadium.
Several 2013 football game attendees have been taken out on black police golf carts due to too much heat exposure, according to Vince Allen, assistant director of the Walker County Emergency Medical Services. An even larger number were taken out last season due to higher temperatures, he said.
“Last year was the actual time that we had a big problem,” Allen said. “It was a big situation.”
According to Weather Underground, four games had temperatures over 89 degrees with one over 98 over the two-year span.
When someone is suffering from heat exhaustion at Bowers stadium, officials begin a process to help them. The first person usually notified is someone on the event staff, who then tells University Police Department according to Chief Kevin Morris of UPD.
“When we are notified of it, we contact Walker County medical services and get them to a paramedic for evaluation and or treatment,” Morris said.
Once EMS is notified, they get out to the scene as quickly as possible and remove the person from the situation, according to Allen.
“The main thing we do is get them out of the environment into a cool area and get them plenty fluids,” Allen said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat exhaustion can be detected from symptoms including heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting.
Once someone realizes that they are suffering from heat exhaustion, they should drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages, rest, take a cool shower or bath or get into an air-conditioned environment.
The CDC also recommends that when anyone is in a hot environment, they should drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour regardless if they are thirsty or not.
Gregory Hinze, associate director of Athletics for Compliance and Operations, said that the athletic department does provide free water and misting stations at the first aid tents located inside the stadium for anyone who may need it.