School, hospital officials react to large-scale heat exhaustion at John Marshall

Education

Several dozen students have been been treated for dehydration at three different hospitals after a band practice turned into a medical emergency.

A routine band practice on John Marshall High School’s new turf field caused students to feel dizzy and sick. Some students fainted, and others vomited, according to officials.

10 EMS agencies from Ohio, Marshall, and Belmont Counties provided 16 ambulances to transport students from Sherrard and Moundsville Middle Schools, and John Marshall High School to three different area hospitals, according to Marshall County Emergency Management.

EMS personnel were also dispatched to Sherrard Middle School to triage and treat students there with several more also transported to local hospitals, according Marshall County Emergency Management.

At least 37 students have been or are being treated at WVU Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Ohio Valley Medical Center, and Wheeling Hospital. 

At Wheeling Hospital, students were first triaged in the emergency/trauma center, then taken to the Center for Pediatrics where emergency physicians and nurses are currently still treating students, according to hospital spokesman Gregg Warren.

At least one student will be hospitalized overnight.

“I believe the turf holds the heat a little bit more than the natural grass, so that’s something we’ll just get used to and we’ll be extra cautious as the season goes on,” said Tracy Filbin, John Marshall’s band director.

Officials told 7News that they believe the new turf might be the cause of the issue.

“I don’t think the kids are used to that and that was one of the reasons they wanted to bring them down today so they could get used to it,” said Corey Murphy, Marshall County Schools’ assistant superintendant. “But the heat does radiate off of that, and I think some kids weren’t expecting that.”

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