Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH - Dr Win­ston Dawes, CD, MB, BS, FRCSE, is a con­sul­tant gen­eral sur­geon, pain man­age­ment con­sul­tant. Email: yourhealth@ glean­

the ath­letes to ig­nore warn­ing signs of po­ten­tial dan­ger. Many push them­selves be­yond the lim­its that their fit­ness could take them.

It is, there­fore, up to coaches, teach­ers and par­ents to ob­serve any in­di­ca­tions of po­ten­tial dan­ger.

Given the com­plex­i­ties of sit­u­a­tion, it is vi­tal that a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion be done as to the causes of the re­cent deaths of the stu­dents and teach­ers. If there is a def­i­nite pat­tern, then we must con­vene a panel of ex­perts to study the find­ings and then take the ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion. Once we par­take in stren­u­ous phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity there are risks, but the ben­e­fits out­weigh the po­ten­tial dan­gers.

How­ever, we have to have a pol­icy which is af­ford­able and im­ple­mentable. Hav­ing am­bu­lances at ev­ery match is im­pos­si­ble, given the num­ber of events and the short­age of these ve­hi­cles. Teach­ing ba­sic car­diopul­monary re­sus­ci­ta­tion to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble may re­duce the num­ber of deaths.

It is im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict where the next event will oc­cur, but tak­ing the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions and en­cour­ag­ing the pop­u­la­tion to ex­er­cise and be­ing ac­tive will im­prove the health of the nation and re­duce the num­ber of sud­den deaths.


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