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Does over-conditioning lead to non-traumatic fatalities among school, college footballers?

ANI | July 14, 2019 03:09 PM
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Washington D.C. [USA], July 14 (ANI): While proper conditioning can lead to better results, over-conditioning can be harmful.

Most of the non-traumatic fatalities among high school and college do not occur while playing the game of football, but rather during conditioning sessions which are often associated with overexertion or punishment drills required by coaches and team staff, finds a study.

The study presented at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting reviewed 187 non-traumatic football fatalities that occurred between 1998 and 2018.

The researchers obtained information from extensive internet searches, as well as depositions, investigations, autopsies, media, and freedom of information reports.

Of the 187 fatalities, more than half (52 per cent) were due to cardiac issues; 24 per cent were caused by heat; and five per cent from asthma.

"The majority of deaths occurred outside of the regular season months of September through December, with the most common month for fatalities being August," Dr. Barry P. Boden, the researcher, said.

Boden said many of the fatalities had three issues in common: the conditioning sessions were supervised by the football coach or strength and conditioning coach; irrationally intense workouts and/or punishment drills were scheduled, and an inadequate medical response was implemented.

"Conditioning-related fatalities are preventable by establishing standards in workout design, holding coaches and strength and conditioning coaches accountable, ensuring compliance with current policies, and allowing athletic health care providers complete authority over medical decisions," Boden added. (ANI)

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