Jackson Prep Football Player dies of Sodium Imbalance. Hyponatremia / Over-hydration

Jackson Prep Football player, Walker Wilbanks. died after a rare sodium imbalance after Friday’s game Aug 22, 2014 doctors say. The Temperature was 90*.

Leaders of independent school athletics say they’re constantly educating coaches and trainers on how to keep athletes safe on the field.

“There’s always training,” said Triplett. “We use sports medicine doctors and we use them in our coaches clinics. We use them for our clinics online, so it’s a constant process. We feel good about what were doing.”

[Football player’s death sparks prayers, support, athlete safety discussions MS News WLBT, August 27, 2014 by David Kenney, Flowood, MS (Mississippi News Now)]

Over hydration was mentioned as the cause. At halftime he became ill and began to vomit.

Jackson Prep football player Walker Wilbanks died from a severe loss of sodium that caused water to build up on his brain, his doctor said late Monday.

Joe Pressler, the high school junior’s lead physician at University of Mississippi Medical Center, said the sodium-water imbalance caused Wilbanks’ brain to swell, which led to his death.

The loss of sodium was caused by Wilbanks’ sweating during the game. He lost more sodium than was being replenished as the player tried to rehydrate on the sidelines. As the sodium levels dropped, water shifted from Wilbanks’ blood to his brain.

According to school officials, in the second half, Wilbanks came to the sidelines, not feeling well. Wilbanks was taken to the hospital “immediately” after being assessed by Jackson Prep’s training staff. Head of School Jason Walton said a doctor examined Wilbanks on the sidelines.

Once he reached the emergency room, Wilbanks began to cramp and vomit, officials said. He had a seizure, and his brain started to swell and was not getting enough oxygen.

“AMR had a paramedic, an EMT, and an ambulance at the game. We were not asked to respond to the patient,” Pollard said.

“He was attended to not by an EMT, but by a doctor,” Walton said.

When an ambulance crew attends to a patient, they immediately begin medical care on the scene, which can include oxygen, cardiac monitoring and intravenous fluid resuscitation, which continue in the vehicle on the way to the hospital. Pollard would not comment on whether a medic’s immediate attention could have been helpful in Wilbanks’ case.
[by Dustin Barnes, The Clarion-Ledger August 28, 2014]

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