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Exertional Sickling: Serious But Survivable If Prompt Action Taken

Yvette L. Coursey, DPA, talks about how sickle cell trait, ordinarily a relatively benign condition, can cause youth engaged in sustained, intense exercise to suffer a potentially life-threatening condition called exertional sickling. 

The risk of exertional sickling can be increased by such factors as environmental heat, dehydration, asthma, illness and newness to altitude increase the intensity of the activity 

She says that it is important to know if an athlete has sickle cell trait, to be educated about the symptoms of exertional sickling, how to prevent the condition, for there to be a protocol/emergency action plan in place for treating athletes if stricken.  Coursey emphasizes that the condition is survivable if treated promptly.

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