A couple of additional details are beginning to trickle in regarding the dozen Iowa football players hospitalized Monday evening, including the medical condition the players are reportedly suffering from.
According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the players have been diagnosed with a condition known as “exertional rhabdomyolysis“. It is the same condition that hit two dozen Oregon high school football players in August of 2010.
Generally speaking, the condition is brought on by intense physical activity that follows a period of relative inactivity. Technically, here’s what Dr. Google has to say about what’s apparently hit a sizable chunk of the Hawkeyes football roster:
Rhabdomyolysis is defined as “a degeneration of muscle cells and is characterized by a group of conditions including muscle pain, tenderness, weakness, and swelling; myoglobinuria (presence of myoglobin in the urine); and increased levels of sarcoplasmic (muscle) proteins and other muscle constituents in the blood.”
“One of the proteins released from damaged muscle cells is myoglobin. High levels of myoglobin in the blood (myoglobinemia) result in a “spill over” of myoglobin into the urine (myoglobinuria). In certain situations, myoglobin can precipitate in the kidneys and cause renal failure.”
“Equally dangerous can be the leakage of potassium into the bloodstream, which under certain circumstances can interfere with propagation of the heartbeat. Another danger is posed by the possible leakage of excessive calcium into the cell, creating a state of hypocalcemia in the bloodstream, which can lead to irregular heartbeat, muscle spasms, and other symptoms.”
As was stated in Iowa’s press release, all 12 of the players are doing fine, although they remain hospitalized. It’s uncertain when they will be released.
Additionally, the names of the affected players are still unknown.
UPDATED 7:51 p.m. ET: Iowa released what it described as a clarification to earlier UI athletic department release regarding UI football student-athletes.
“The Hawkeye football players admitted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics were all participating in NCAA allowable winter workouts. The symptoms, for which the student-athletes are being treated, are likely related to those workouts.”