As the nurse said to me upon his return. “It seems that Cold Blankets is the product you don’t need…until you need it.” It is a lot like having a heart defibrillator on-hand, there when you need it to save a life.
This summer; thousands of sports tournaments around the country were played. Whatever the weather, kids and their parents hit the fields. All made possible by referees who show up to make sure the games are fair. One of those refs was saved from heat stroke because of former coach and longtime athlete Bonnie Floyd. She knows about heat stroke first-hand and owns a company called Comfort Innovations. She teamed up with Chilly Cheeks to attend some of those regional tournaments. They show teams how they can fund-raise more effectively, provide comfortable sideline seating options, and save a life or two. And that’s exactly what she did when the Medical Staff at tournament came running to our booth.
The nurse wanted to know if I had any Cold Blankets that were still cold. He said they had a referee in heat trouble and wanted me to get to him right-away. The nurse immediately pulled the ice packs from the underarms and groin area of the referee and sat him up. He took one of the Cold Blankets and laid it beneath the referee, who was very pale in every part of his body that was visible – face, arms and legs, and who was having trouble breathing. The nurse had him lay down on the first Cold Blanket and then took the second Cold Blanket and placed it on top of him, completely covering the referee from his neck to his mid thighs in immediate cold therapy. In less than two minutes, the referee’s color and breathing had greatly improved, which the nurse pointed out to all in the room. Another minute and the referee was complaining the cold was making him uncomfortable, to which the nurse replied, “I want you to get very uncomfortable with the cold.” He went on to explain to the referee that it meant his body temperature was coming down and returning to normal.
The Cold Blankets were removed after just 5 minutes. The referee’s color and breathing were back to normal. The referee then told us that he had lost his job the week before, then gotten sick over the previous days with vomiting and diarrhea. He needed to work the tournament for financial reasons and had managed to make it through the day drinking fluids and resting when he could, but knew he was overheated after his last game. He was getting into his car, when he decided that he had to seek medical help and went to the first aid station, where I had been minutes before to demonstrate the Cold Blankets. The major problem with heat exhaustion is that the body continues to heat up after physical activity has stopped. This is because the body is working hard to cool itself. This increase in body heat can quickly move a person from heat exhaustion to heat stroke, something the referee knew.
Funny thing was, this was the same medical professional who previously told Bonnie that they had no need for Cold Blankets. They had access to plunge pools at nearby facilities and other ways to cool down over-heated players. The thing is, it’s hard to get a plunge pool to someone down on the field. Guess we all need this life-saving product after all.