Lone soldier from L.A. in intensive care after heatstroke during training

Family flies in to be at bedside of Nahal Brigade soldier who collapsed during 8K run; IDF investigating incident.

August 20, 2013 01:15
1 minute read.
Nahal brigade soldiers carry out drill

Nahal drill 370. (photo credit: Courtesy IDF Spokesman’s Office)


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An American-born lone soldier from the Nahal Brigade remains in intensive care at the Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv, a day after collapsing from heatstroke during an eight kilometer training run at his base at Bet Lid, in the Sharon District of central Israel.

The soldier’s family members have flown from Los Angeles to be at his bedside.

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Doctors are keeping him sedated, and his condition is serious but stable. On Tuesday, doctors might begin lowering the sedatives.

“He’s a strong guy,” a senior army source said on Monday evening.

The source said it was heatstroke that led the soldier to collapse at the end of the drill, adding that inquiries were underway.

According to initial results from an investigation, the heat index on Sunday morning was at level 3 – a level that allows for non-competitive physical training for a limited period of time. The inquiry found that the squad commander who held the run acted in accordance with the army’s health and safety guidelines for training in hot weather.

A more intensive physical activity – a physical army examination drill – was cancelled at the base on the same morning.

At 9:04 a.m., the team went out on a training run, and completed it at 9:51, according to the army’s initial investigation.

“He didn’t display any unusual behavior before collapsing,” the source said.

“In the second half of the run, the squad commander decreased the pace twice, because of the heat,” the source added.

But the soldiers had to sprint for the last 100 meters of the run, and immediately afterwards, the soldier collapsed.

The squad commander ordered two fellow soldiers to place him under a cold shower immediately, and to give him water to drink. The soldier remained conscious but was dazed, the source said. He was then evacuated to the infirmary, treated with ice to bring down his body temperature, and put intravenous fluids, before being taken to the hospital.

“We’re examining the treatment he received until the hospital evacuation. Initial checks show that the treatment was appropriate and helped the soldier reach a hospital in a better condition,” the source said, adding, “We’re caring for his family in Israel.”

“The squad commander cancelled three runs [this summer] because of heat,” the source said.

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