This Associated Press story about 18 high school football players from Oregon getting hospitalized is bizarre. Authorities have not yet figured out what caused the “painful swelling in their arms.”
McMINNVILLE, Ore. — Eighteen Oregon high school football players have been hospitalized after they experienced painful swelling in their arms during a fall camp. Three of the McMinnville High School athletes required surgery this week. They were experiencing “compartment syndrome,” which led to triceps swelling and pain.
Authorities said the cause was not known, but the condition can be the result of exercise or the use of certain medications.
The players were at an immersion camp organized by first-year coach Jeff Kearin. All but one of the players who became ill worked out on Sunday at the high school’s wrestling room, where one player says the temperature reached 120 degrees.
Ten of the players remained hospitalized overnight Friday.
Senior linebacker and fullback Jake Montgomery, 17, worked out with the team Sunday and Monday. But early Tuesday morning he was awakened by pain.
“I saw my elbows disappearing,” he told The Oregonian newspaper.
McMinnville School District Superintendent Maryalice Russell said officials were investigating the outbreak. Kearin and his staff would continue working with the team.
Russell said at a news conference Friday that she has no evidence that steroids or other supplements were involved.
“I don’t have any information at this time that would indicate that’s the case,” she said. “I’m continuing to look at additional information as it may come my way.”
Willamette Valley Medical Center’s Dr. Peter Van Patten said exercise-induced compartment syndrome is usually a temporary condition that resolves itself quickly, which makes the outbreak unusual. Several factors, including the type of exercise and the temperature, could have played a part.
“It was a combination of different variables that came together, and it’s like the stars and the planets lining up just right and we get this event that’s extremely unusual and unpredictable,” he said
Oregon School Activities Association executive director Tom Welter said the organization’s medical committee will investigate and make recommendations to the executive board after its next meeting in September. The OSAA oversees school sports in the state.
Practices for all fall sports start on Monday.