Tag Archives: AT saves life

Luxury or Necessity?

11 Jan

This morning, this article about a local to me high school caught my eye.  The title alone is thought provoking “Injury prompts Shanksville to reconsider athletic trainer.”  Somehow this school thought it prudent to cut $2,500 in spending and not provide basic athletic training services for the athletes of the school.  According to the PIAA, this school has an enrollment of 105 students in 9-12 grade and competes in 5 boys’ and 7 girls’ sports.  Basketball is the only contact sport listed, but in my experience baseball, softball, cross country, tennis and volleyball are all sports that keep the AT busy.

Today’s economy and lack of funding for public education has school districts, private schools and even public and private colleges and universities closely examining budgets.  The economic climate has administrations at every level attempting to answer the question “Is the provision of athletic training services a luxury that we provide our athletes or Continue reading

New Game Plan for Concussions

4 Apr

Neurology Now – A well written article discusses the prevelence of concussion in sports and the incompetence of the general public in recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion.  I have peiced together many of the better parts of the article below.  It is worth the read and highlights the importance of access to athletic trainers for all athletes.

Over the past few years, a number of stories have made the headlines involving mismanaged injuries in young athletes that turned catastrophic. Too many times, players have been moved off the field when they shouldn’t have been or cleared to return to play before they fully recovered. Instead of heading off to college, teenagers like Matthew Newman of Cowiche, WA, are spending what would be their freshman year making trips to rehabilitation facilities. Newman suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a football game in September 2009, and has been fighting a long battle to recover ever since.

As a result, dangerous hits are being taken more seriously. Athletic organizations at every level—from Pop Warner football to the National Football League—are changing the rules that dictate when players can return to the field, what type of personnel must be present at sporting events, and how to determine if an athlete can suit up… or should sit down.

Additionally, a number of states have begun to adopt legislation requiring that players who are suspected to have suffered a concussion be removed from play. (See box, “Making Concussion Safety a Law.”) Data from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, show that as many as 40 percent of high school athletes who sustain concussions return to action prematurely, which raises the risk for more severe injuries.

“Letting someone continue to play when they are concussed will commonly cause a longer, more complex injury,” says Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, MI, and director of the Michigan Neurosport Program. If an athlete re-enters a game or practice, he or she faces serious risks—even if there is no further physical contact. “If they continue to exert themselves physically and mentally at high levels, the injury worsens, with more complex symptoms and a more difficult recovery,” he says.

What is known is that concussions are happening far too often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three million concussions occur every year in the United States. Among people 15 to 24 years old, sports are second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of TBI. Concussions represent an estimated 8.9 percent of all high school athletic injuries, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

“These injuries are happening more frequently than we ever realized,” and they’re not always easy to detect, says Julian Bailes, M.D., director of the Brain Injury Research Institute and professor and chairman of the department of neurosurgery at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown. “It can be very difficult to discern how serious a hit is by just seeing or hearing what happened,” Dr. Bailes says.

That was one of the key drivers behind the AAN’s recommendations: to take the decision of whether a player can return to the field out of the coach’s hand, and to leverage the technological innovations and advances in research that have surfaced in recent months to improve the care of athletes, says Dr. Kutcher.

The bottom line of the new position is actually quite simple: Got a possible concussion? Get off the field.

While experts such as neurologists and certified athletic trainers are qualified to identify the signs of a concussion, doing so can be much more difficult for the untrained. Many people believe that concussions only occur when a player is unconscious. This assumption, says Dr. Bailes, is both incorrect and dangerous. “With the vast majority of concussions in sports—90 percent of the time, in fact—athletes don’t get knocked out,” he notes. “They’re walking around and talking, and they look normal.”

That’s where testing comes into play. Through a neuropsychological evaluation, physicians acquire important information about a patient’s cognitive, motor, behavioral, language, and executive functioning, which can guide them in making a diagnosis and determining when it is safe for an athlete to return to play. According to the AAP, evaluation is based on several computerized neuropsychological tests designed to objectively evaluate an athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery to prevent cumulative effects of concussion. A neuropsychologist may also administer a pencil-and-paper test to the patient.

Why athletic trainers are needed


One step that can assist in identifying and assessing possible concussions is the presence of a certified athletic trainer. According to Dr. Kutcher, this is important for several reasons.

“Athletic trainers have the experience and the training to be able to block out all of the environmental distractions that exist during games and triage an injury,” says Dr. Kutcher, who is also a team physician for the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University athletic programs. And trainers are taught to be completely objective when evaluating athletes.

“While I would love to think that all parents, coaches, and teammates can have objective viewpoints on these injuries, the truth is, that’s hard to do. Athletic trainers accept that responsibility, and they’ve developed the skills to not let the person’s position of importance to the team—for example, the starting quarterback—affect their clinical judgment.”

What distinguishes certified athletic trainers from other professionals such as personal trainers is the fact that they must graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a test administered by the Board of Certification, according to the National Athletic Trainer’s Association. Once certified, they must meet ongoing continuing education requirements.

Original article

Applying Pressure in CA – Its needed!

17 Mar

As I have blogged about this week, CA is 1 of 3 states that does not have any licensure or certification laws protecting the citizens (i.e. athletes and physically active) from unlicensed and negligent athletic trainers.  Many of the media are helping out by writing articles such as this one in support of athletic trainers and in support of state licensure.

This month is recognized by the National Athletic Training Association as National Athletic Training Month.

“I think it’s great,” said Brittany Bauer, a certified athletic trainer and Cal State Fullerton graduate student. “It’s promoting awareness, especially since the profession is growing.”

Along with NATA, the CSUF Athletic Training Education Program is helping to support the movement to increase both the local and national recognition of the often misunderstood profession of athletic training in hopes of preventing and diagnosing injuries like Mallon’s.

“The more recognition you have for the profession, the more respect, the more people will appreciate the need for athletic trainers,” said Rebeca Ribeiro, a second semster CSUF ATEP student.

Currently California is one of three states that does not have licensure or some form of legal recognition for athletic training, according to CSUF assistant athletics trainer Amanda Rice.

In driving the agenda forward of licensure for athletic trainers in California, Rice along with four CSUF students went to Sacramento at the end of February to meet with Congress. The event called “Hit the Hill,” which brought a combination of 300 students and athletic trainers together, was aimed at calling attention to the recently introduced bill, AB 374, known as the “Athletic Trainers Practice Act.”

“Anybody can call themselves an athletic trainer,” said Rice. “You could call yourself an athletic trainer and there is no recourse saying ‘no, you can’t do what you are doing.’”

The bill would provide licensure for the profession and prevent anyone without licensure from practicing athletic training in the state.

CA has a reputation of being a progressive state and ahead of the times on many issues, but they are anything but that when it comes to the licensure and regulation of athletic training.

Read the entire article.

News – ATC saves life of a rec. hockey player

17 Feb

Everett, WA – The how-to’s of CPR are clearly explained in the newest AHA Guidelines.  Check for response.  If there is no response assign someone to get an AED, assign someone else to call 911.  Open the airway. Look, listen and feel for breathing.  If there is not breathing, you administer 2 breaths and start compressions.  Every 30 compressions give 2 breaths.  Continue until the AED arrives or the ambulance arrives.  Early access to an AED and advanced life support is the most important step in survival.

Chris Walker did all those steps and saved the life of Continue reading

News – ATC Revives Ref with AED

30 Jan

Sioux Falls, SD – O’Gorman High School’s athletic trainer, Rochelle Lauret, quickly identified cardiac arrest suffered by Dan Sudbeck at half time of a girls’ basketball game, 1/27/2011.  When she first responded, Dan was unresponsive and had no pulse.  She quickly applied the AED which shocked his heart back into rhythm on the first shock.  By the time the ambulance arrived, Dan was reported to actually be alert, talking and giving Rochelle a medical history!

Continue reading