Media reports over the last ten days have noted the strange case of nearly 20 Oregon high school football players taken ill after practice with a rare muscle disorder. According to the Associated Press three of the teens needed surgery “and 16 others were treated after suffering muscle damage following a fall camp.” The high schoolers are suffering from a rare condition known as “compartment syndrome” in which high levels of enzymes released after heavy exercise can, in some cases, lead to kidney failure. The constant repetition of the fact that the victims are football players, however, can obscure the fact that they are high schoolers – children, in the eyes of the law – and raises the question of what level of responsibility ought to be assigned to McMinnville High School and its football coach.
According to an article in The Oregonian, doctors familiar with the case say an intense combination of “high heat, dehydration and heavy exercise” may have led to the mass case of compartment syndrome. The doctors are also, however, “waiting for blood tests looking for the presence of creatine, a legal, loosely regulated and widely available bodybuilding supplement present in a number of weight-gain products that has been linked to an increased risk of sports-related injury.”
These Oregon child injuries, taking place at a high school sports practice, raise serious questions about the school’s responsibility – where it should start and where it should end. In particular, if creatine is found in the players’ blood that, in turn, would raise questions about whether the team’s coaches were aware of supplement use among their players and what, if anything, they may have done to warn against it.
Families struggling with questions like these in the wake of a student sports injury are strongly urged to contact an Oregon child injury lawyer with specialized knowledge of Oregon sports injuries at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Oregonian reports that even the McMinnville high school football team’s doctor has questioned the wisdom of team workouts that reportedly took place in temperatures well over 100 degrees. This is the sort of expert analysis that can be a key element of any Oregon child injury or Oregon sports injury case. An Oregon sports injury attorney can be an important guide and advisor as you consider the best path to pursue in the wake of an Oregon child injury suffered as part of school activities.
The Oregonian: Combination of intense drill, heat, dehydration may have sent McMinnville players to hospital