New rhabdomyolysis resources for firefighters

If left untreated, severe rhabdo may be fatal or result in permanent disability.

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Too many wildland firefighters have suffered from rhabdomyolysis (often referred to as rhabdo) in recent years. In some cases they could have been treated much earlier if the victims and those around them had recognized the symptoms.

Rhabdo informationFirefighting, both structural and wildland, involves tasks in environments that place fire fighters at increased risk for this condition. Rhabdo is a breakdown of muscle tissue that releases proteins and electrolytes into the blood stream and can cause heart and kidney damage. If left untreated, severe rhabdo may be fatal or result in permanent disability. Heat exposure and intense physical effort are just two of many known risk factors for rhabdo.

NIOSH has developed two sets of factsheets and wallet cards—one for structural firefighters and their healthcare providers and another for wildland firefighters and their healthcare providers—to increase awareness about the signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis and help fire fighters get early treatment to prevent more serious medical problems.

Factsheets for wildland firefighters and their healthcare providers:

What Wildland Fire Fighters Need to Know about Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis in Wildland Fire Fighters: A Patient Population at Risk

Wallet cards for wildland fire fighters

 

Factsheets for structural firefighters and their healthcare providers:

What Structural Fire Fighters Need to Know about Rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis in Structural Fire Fighters: A Patient Population at Risk

Wallet cards for structural fire fighters

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Bryan.
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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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