Acute cardiovascular effects of firefighting and active cooling during rehabilitation

Jefferey L. Burgess, Michael D. Duncan, Chengcheng Hu, Sally R. Littau, Delayne Caseman, Margaret Kurzius-Spencer, Grace Davis-Gorman, Paul F. McDonagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine the cardiovascular and hemostatic effects of fire suppression and postexposure active cooling. METHODS: Forty-four firefighters were evaluated before and after a 12-minute live-fire drill. Next, 50 firefighters performing the same drill were randomized to undergo postfire forearm immersion in 10°C water or standard rehabilitation. RESULTS: In the first study, heart rate and core body temperature increased and serum C-reactive protein decreased but there were no significant changes in fibrinogen, sE-selectin, or sL-selectin. The second study demonstrated an increase in blood coagulability, leukocyte count, factors VIII and X, cortisol, and glucose, and a decrease in plasminogen and sP-selectin. Active cooling reduced mean core temperature, heart rate, and leukocyte count. CONCLUSIONS: Live-fire exposure increased core temperature, heart rate, coagulability, and leukocyte count; all except coagulability were reduced by active cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1420
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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