Delanie Walker says he nearly died from IV

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NFL players rarely publicly discuss what they go through to get back on the field. As some have described, they go through 16 car wrecks a year, and that’s just the regular season.

Pain meds and intravenous therapy are a regular part of playing in the NFL.

During a debut podcast hosted by Taylor Lewan and Will Compton, guest Delanie Walker said he avoids Torodal and other painkillers during a game.

“Any kind of pain pill, I’m looped,” the Titans tight end said on the podcast, via Paul Kuharsky of You can tell me the play, and I’ll run the wrong play. . . .That s— made me feel like I was on crack.”

Walker and Lewan, the Titans left tackle, both talked about the dangers of IVs, which commonly are used on game day.

“If you get a certain amount of CCs of air in your blood system — like 100 CCs will kill you,” Lewan said. “If you get enough, it will make your heart dilate in a certain way.”

Walker apparently referenced a 2016 preseason game against the Raiders in Oakland when he left the game in the first quarter with what the team called “a loss of breath.”

“Yeah,” said Walker. “I got fluid in my lungs and damn near died almost in the game. The guy just wasn’t paying attention and the fluid was out so air seeped into my. . . .”

Lewan described “burping the bag” to minimize the potential for air bubbles in an IV. Walker said during his episode he became bloated and knew something wasn’t right.

Lewan suspects he had something similar during a Week Three game against Jacksonville last year. He received an IV after throwing up pregame.

“I got an IV, and I was feeling like the only reason it might be the IV was because the way you [Walker] were telling me, shortness of breath, I could barely breathe,” Lewan said. “I don’t really get tired during games, my conditioning is really good, and so I thought to myself, ‘Something is wrong.’ I started to come back to in the second half of the game. The first half, I was all f—– up.”

26 responses to “Delanie Walker says he nearly died from IV

  1. Yes, it’s a real thing. It happens in any sport that allows IV treatments including at the collegiate level. Any contact sport player is one dummy trainer or team doc away from this happening.

  2. These guys earn every nickle of what they get paid. If you think you know football watching on TV, get a ticket up close for one wont believe what its like being up close to 300 lbs men running full speed into each other. Its shocking… nothing like on TV

  3. You would think someone might just even run this by anyone in the medical field to check the plausibility of these medical tv show explanations. First of all it would take more than 6ft of continuous“air” in an iv tubing for any air embolism to harm you. You guys understand there’s “air” in our blood. Now the more plausible explanation is that they over hydrated him. It’s not uncommon for plates to get 3-4 liters of fluids a day leading up to game day. that is dangerous and irresponsible. Theres a point you can argue. The excess fluid can get into your lungs as it mixes with the blood and makes it way your lungs and or that can cause dry drowning or congestive heart failure. Also, toradol is an anti-inflammatory. It’s like a strong Advil, nothing more. I guess we can’t let the facts get in the way of a cool story. There’s so much more to say about this piece that’s inaccurate but what’s the point. Everyone jump on turn on Greys anatomy for your medical lessons. Smh

  4. As a healthcare professional: no Delanie Walker, that’s not how this stuff works.

    Toradol has zero effect on your brain, it’s just an NSAID like a super strong ibuprofen.

    Air bubbles are absorbed by your body and distributed, when gravity is done with fluid the IV is actually vacusealed which is why blood starts coming back up out of the j-loop.

    Now if you have a lot of air at one time- then yes it’s deadly, it’s called an air embolus and you die, you don’t just feel short of breath on the field, you literally die.

    What makes you feel short of breath was most likely fluid overload because you decided to get a bunch of hypertonic solution pumped into your veins so that you could last longer on the field, but as we get older our bodies don’t regulate fluids as well as they used to.

    Perhaps I’m guessing here, but at least it’s a bit more educated than the misinformation this guy is spreading.

  5. Goes to show how as much as fans love to yell and criticize, we don’t know half of what’s actually going on with players, their health, and their lives.

  6. Difficult to determine from his comments what actually happened. It doesn’t seem accurate, but its his understanding. Small volume bubbles are often infused into patients- unintentionally, but almost unavoidable. Often if given via an infusor/pump, there are air alarms and filters as well. How lethal air bubbles are depends on the rate and volume injected. Him being injected a significant amount of air or at a high rate and surviving and playing seems unlikely. Maybe he was just in rough shape from the condition which the IVs were being used for- dehydration, other issues.

  7. There’s come a point in time where a person’s life is more valuable than just a game. Players, coaches, and team doctors have to monitor this type of situation.

  8. As an RN.. these comments are facepalm worthy. Just shut up and play football knucklehead

  9. Why should I care?
    IVs are given tens of thousands of times every single day.
    Walker plays a game for a living and is a multi-millionaire, so no I will not feel sorry for him.
    Pro football comes with risks and Walker eat al are extremely well compensated for accepting those risks.
    Don’t want an IV? Drink more fluids then.

  10. I will say it again. Let’s stop all the pretending about what goes on in the NFL. Terry Bradshaw has said that part of his pre-game ritual was being shot up with pain killers every week. This is nothing new. He said at times he was so numb in both legs he felt weird when he had to run.
    You might laugh, but I can see a time in the not-to-distant future when the players will come back to the bench and be handed a joint and will have a beer keg next to the Gatorade container.
    One issue I heard discussed yesterday on the radio is the limit of 47 players being active on game day. I agree with those who say it’s stupid to have a roster with 53 players and not be able to use 7 of them on game day. Now more than ever, with the regular season being longer and post-season being longer, too, the teams need to have all 53 men available on game day. Let’s face it. A scrub lineman who is 100% healthy would be better for the team (and the players) to be available than a starter who is playing injured. I saw a game last season where a team lost 3 offensive linemen during the game to injury and had to use a TE as a lineman for a few plays in the 4th quarter. That is totally ridiculous.
    The reason the NFL has always given for having players inactive on game day is because they say you’d have more games that are blowouts by using the guys who would normally be inactive. What a bunch of bull that is! How many times do we see guys who were on the street get signed by a team late in a season and are thrown out there because the team has no one else????
    Of all the major sports, the NFL does more stupid stuff than any other league.

  11. This is all the more reason to eliminate Thursday games. The recovery time is not sufficient. It is obvious watching players go through the motion because it is physically impossible to be at optimal strength with the limited rest and without aid of intravenous fluids and some form of pain management(usually handfuls of pills).

  12. Lol… Toradol. Not sure why you are passing on that unless you have bad kidneys there Delanie. Plus, it works.

  13. Walker has zero knowledge about anything medical. Last time I checked the players have a right to say no to any medical treatment. So, instead of whining, just say no. There’s nothing like hearing millionaires whine about their problems. Too much healthcare, just imagine.

  14. Ok, as a medical professional that has lurked on this site for a long time, I was so aggravated by the factual inadequacy of this that I actually registered to post about it. If you are going to post something that supports the untrained athlete at the expense of the professionals who spent years in school and in practice taking care of them, at least check your facts.

    Lewan talks about what is called an air embolus, which occurs when a reasonable large amount of air gets into a vein and travels to the heart. It is exceedingly rare for this to happen with a peripheral IV, which is what is used to infuse fluids to these players. I have only seen it happen one time, and that was on a much larger central IV, which is only found in a hospital setting and sterilly inserted by a physician or mid-level provider. Usually, the position of the IV tubing alone prevents air entering the blood stream after the bag runs out because the tubing is long enough to hang below the insertion point on the patient and gravity and venous pressure do not allow air to continue to be pumped in after the bag empties. It is possible, but highly unlikely and demands extreme incompetence from the administering provider. However, should it happen, symptoms of this mimic a stroke and usually are followed by a return to baseline within an hour. I guarantee this never happened to either of these idiots.

    What Walker talks about is different and more feasible, and that’s fluid overload which causes hypertension and a seeping of fluid out of the pulmonary vasculature and into the pleural space, or “fluid in the lungs.” Many people are probably familiar with this phenomenon as it frequently occurs in heart failure and renal disease. The problem with Walker’s story is that this is also highly unlikely in a healthy young athlete unless you infuse far too much fluid than you should and would certainly not happen with just 1L in a dehydrated person. Again, it’s theoretically possible if a large amount of fluid is infused into a healthy patient far too quickly, but very unlikely. Barring renal or cardiac disease, the case he describes is suspicious for an agent or pathology that would cause fluid retention, the most likely being that he was using steroids at the time, and it is absolutely not related to “air getting in” and was not a case where he “almost died.”

    IVs do pose risks, but these are two idiots spreading misinformation that should not be supported by a front page article on PFT.

  15. “Any kind of pain pill, I’m looped,” the Titans tight end said on the podcast, via Paul Kuharsky of You can tell me the play, and I’ll run the wrong play. . . .That s— made me feel like I was on crack.”

    So he knows what it’s like to be on crack?

  16. Calling BS on this one. Wife is a Dr. It isn’t feasible this happened, even with a pump putting the fluid in qucikly for athletes in games. It will alarm when finished, and/or stop pumping when the fluid is gone, so no air gets pushed in.

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