National Athletic Training Month – “We’ve Got Your Back”
The New York State Athletic Training Association is proud to celebrate March as National Athletic Training Month! This year’s theme is “We’ve Got Your Back”
The outreach athletic training staff leaves the office every afternoon and continues our work day at our contracted high schools. How many of our staff actually know what we do during the rest of our work-day? As part of National Athletic Training Month I’d like to share some insight to inform, educate and promote the profession of Athletic Training.
Emergency care is one of the key issues that Athletic Trainers face everyday, in particular cardiac events. While most athletes that participate on organized athletic teams in high school, college or professionally are generally young and healthy, there may still be known or unknown underlying cardiac conditions that can strike without warning.
Consider the event that occurred earlier this week during a NHL Dallas Stars game when forward Rich Peverley suddenly collapsed on their bench after returning from his shift on the ice. Click here to view a 1-min real-time TV broadcast clip. This clip is not graphic and has been replayed numerous times on local and national news/sports channels. It shows the Athletic Trainers on the Dallas bench, in just a matter of seconds, quickly assess, determine the emergent nature of the situation, activate their emergency action plan and help to carry the stricken Peverley to a back hallway where an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) was used successfully to convert a cardiac arrhythmia. Peverley is out of the hospital and is recovering well, however he will need to undergo further cardiac care causing him to miss the remainder of the NHL season, click here to see the latest news on his condition. (Many of you will have to watch this at home)
During sporting events the Athletic Trainers’ primary responsibility is to the health and safety of the participating athletes, however, this responsibility also extends to those associated with the event including the coaches, referees, and game management staff. Furthermore, in some sporting venues the absence of on-site emergency medical personnel (e.g. EMT/Paramedics, etic Trainer may also need to respond and provide emergency care to spectators.
Locally, in January 2013, a local Athletic Trainer covering a basketball game at Mt. Mercy Academy responded to a collapsed referee during the game and used CPR and an AED to successfully revive him. Click here to see the press release related to that event.
A Williamsville South student presented with cardiac signs and symptoms during pre-season practice for the boys basketball team. Working together with Dr. Matuszak and the Williamsville CSD medical team, we removed the student from practice until he was seen and cleared by his primary medical physician and a cardiologist.
Preventive measures are good but not guaranteed
Pre-participation examinations help assure that student athletes are ready for play and must be regularly completed for every athlete. The American Medical Association has estimated that the athletic pre-participation examination serves as the sole routine health maintenance check-up for 80-90 percent of adolescents.
However, many deaths from sudden cardiac arrest are the result of previously undiagnosed conditions that may have been present since birth and may not be detected in a routine physical examination. Or, there are rare instances of commotio cordis, a blow to the chest (directly over the left ventricle of the heart) that occurs at a certain point of a person’s heartbeat. This type of hit can happen from a ball, puck, or even another athlete’s body part, hitting the chest in between heartbeats.
It is imperative that on site personnel involved in sports programs react quickly and appropriately during a cardiac arrest.
FYI – there are 2 publicly accessible AEDs in the Excelsior building:
* Physical therapy
* Diagnostic Imaging waiting area near the Express entrance
No matter the setting, the event or the age of the participants, if an Athletic Trainer is present you can be sure, We’ve Got Your Back!
Listen to this 1 minute PSA developed by our NATA District 2 colleagues: http://www.natad2.org/downloads/special/2014_PSA_minute.mp3