There were approximately 21 million households with a spa, pool, or hot tub in spring 2014. You might pay more attention to cleaning and maintenance after this story if you’re one of them.
Grant Dawson was going to make his television and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) debut, but instead learned a lesson in hot tubs after he contracted an infection from the one he was soaking in to cut weight a couple days before his scheduled fight. Dawson (7-0) was winding down his training and in the process of cutting the last bit of weight at Prairie Life Fitness in Lincoln, Nebraska last week for his fight against Clayton Wimer that Friday (9/25). A condition known as hot tub folliculitis ended up turning his dream into a nightmare, according to MMAFighting.com.
After spending a couple hours in and out of the gym’s hot tub, Dawson began to feel a burning sensation in his skin and had to be rushed to an emergency room.
“It was probably the most pain I’ve felt in my life,” Dawson said. “It really felt like something was eating my skin and it was bad.”
The doctors told him he had suffered from first-degree burns as well as hot tub folliculitis, or an inflammation of hair follicles that stems from infection. Instead of trying to finish the weight cut and attempt to recover enough to beat his opponent, his team was able to convince the 21-year-old fighter it would be wiser to pull out of the match and take care of the health of his body.
According to Dawson, the chlorine levels in the high quality hot tubs were excessive. So much so people in the nearby steam room saunas were feeling the effects.
“The chlorine levels in the hot tub were way, way beyond what they were supposed to be,” Dawson said. “It was so bad the people in the steam room were feeling the chlorine in their eyes. That’s how bad it was. And we were in it. I was in it up to my neck.”
Dawson alleges Prairie Life has even offered to pay for his medical bills, but the story changes if you talk to the gym’s manager, Dan Creamer. Not only does he deny that they will be footing the bill, he claims unfortunate incident could have been avoided with proper usage.
“All of our chemical levels were fine and everything like that,” Creamer said. “There’s a reason why you’re only supposed to be in the hot tub 10 to 15 minutes — not two hours.”
For his part Dawson admits to being in the tub for 45 minute intervals, but over the course of a few hours. It’s unclear what the temperature of the tub was, but the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that they never exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Regardless, the gym might want to think about using something like Ozone (O3), a hot tub sanitizer 3,000 times more effective than chlorine without the waste by-products.
Dawson is expected to resume training later this week as the burns are already beginning to heal. He only signed with RFA for the one fight, but he’s hoping they will give him another opportunity to show his talents soon.