Exercise-associated collapse: An evidence-based review and primer for clinicians

Chad A. Asplund, Francis G. O'Connor, Timothy D. Noakes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exercise-associated collapse (EAC) commonly occurs after the completion of endurance running events. EAC is a collapse in conscious athletes who are unable to stand or walk unaided as a result of light headedness, faintness and dizziness or syncope causing a collapse that occurs after completion of an exertional event. Although EAC is perhaps the most common aetiology confronted by the medical provider attending to collapsed athletes in a fi nish-line tent, providers must fi rst maintain vigilance for other potential life-threatening aetiologies that cause collapse, such as cardiac arrest, exertional heat stroke or exercise-associated hyponatraemia. Previously, it has been believed that dehydration and hyperthermia were primary causes of EAC. On review of the evidence, EAC is now believed to be principally the result of transient postural hypotension caused by lower extremity pooling of blood once the athlete stops running and the resultant impairment of cardiac barorefl exes. Once life-threatening aetiologies are ruled out, treatment of EAC is symptomatic and involves oral hydration and a Trendelenburg position - total body cooling, intravenous hydration or advanced therapies is generally not needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1162
Number of pages6
JournalBritish journal of sports medicine
Volume45
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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