One of the highlights of attending the National Athletic Trainers Association’s (NATA) 66th Annual Symposia and AT Expo was the release of an executive summary of a new inter-association consensus statement on “Appropriate Care of the Spine Injured Athlete.” The consensus statement was released on June 24, 2015, and provides insights and recommendations for the management of the cervical spine injured athlete. The main highlight of the consensus statement includes the removal of protective athletic equipment prior to the transport to an emergency facility of an athlete-patient with suspected cervical spine instability.
On July 30th, we hosted a continuing ed event for local sports medicine healthcare providers, providing opportunities to learn, review, and practice best practices for equipment removal, spinal motion restriction, criteria for spine/long boarding, and techniques to move injured athletes onto boards. We also had the opportunity to complete scenario-based training, which is a highly recommended training and review strategy. Our goal was also to provide participants with information and strategies to take back to their local sports medicine team. Event participants included athletic trainers, physicians, surgeons, physical therapist, paramedics/EMTs, and a student athletic trainer from various locations across NW WI and NE MN. The dialogue, problem solving, and sharing of information was incredible with the level of expertise and experience each individual brought to the group.
A team approach to successful care and management of an athlete-patient is absolutely essential. The new consensus statement reinforces the importance of establishing and coordinating plans and care with a team of healthcare professionals and organizations. I’m so grateful we were able to have a variety of healthcare professionals in attendance to build a network of team members!
An extra thank you to:
Vic Liberi, associate professor and athletic trainer at Adrian College, Ron Courson, Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Georgia, and Pepper Burrus, Director of Sports Medicine Administration, for their expertise in equipment removal and emergency management.
Local football coaches and teams for allowing us to use their equipment.
Our many participants for their attendance, dialogue, and equipment they provided.