Page 69 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 69
should attempt to coordinate game from the sideline onto the field mask/helmet equipment in the recent
day medical operations, administrative with no hesitation. Furthermore, past. It is up to the physician provid-
medical policies, and the medical bag team physicians should identify ing coverage to understand what
available for providing athlete care communications systems (phones, supplies are required for the event,
and evaluation. portable radios, etc.) that will improve so that not only his team but also
communication with emergency any visiting team members will
The assessment and management medical team members. receive proper medical treatment.
of game day injuries and medical The healthcare team should also
problems is an ongoing process. Preparation of the opposing team remind managerial staff to replace
Medical protocols should dictate that and identifying any health care needs facemask screws frequently, as rusted
the team physician have final clearance that they may encounter is also neces- screws can be difficult to remove.
authority on whether an injured or sary. Being more familiar with the
ill athlete can compete. Determining local environment, the home team Summary
an athlete’s safe return to participation physician should arrange for the
must be clear and timely, as should visiting medical staff to have conven- It is vital that physicians assuming
follow-up care and instructions for ient access to the competition site responsibility for athletes’ game day
athletes requiring treatment after and the appropriate medical and medical care identify and plan for
competition. It is also necessary for communication resources. appropriate medical services at the
the team physician to notify appro- site of practice or competition. Stan-
priate parties about an athlete’s Conducting a postgame review dards of care will vary with available
injury or illness. on the site of competition can help resources and level of competition.
improve medical and administrative For example, Pop Warner football
The medical team covering a game protocols. Finally, proper documen- certainly will not have the same level
should be in close enough proximity tation and medical record keeping of intensity and resources available
to allow easy access and timely inter- is always vital. to it as Division I NCAA football.
vention as needed. Team physician However, the team physician should
personnel should coordinate with Necessary Medical Supplies recognize that following guidelines will
emergency medical personnel so that allow medical personnel to provide
both are familiar with equipment Each team physician should have a better care for athletes, regardless of
specifications and transportation game day sideline medical bag and the level of competition. Physicians,
plans. One must always take into sideline medical supplies (see Table 1). working in conjunction with the
account the size of the athlete and Variations in available medical National Athletic Trainers’ Association,
whether or not equipment specifica- resources must be considered when have raised the bar of healthcare for
tions will be appropriate. determining the on-site medical bag athletes at all levels. It is becoming
and associated sideline supplies. For vitally important for each team physi-
Administratively, it is important example, equipment requirements cian to walk through these protocols
for the team physician to coordinate and facemask removal procedures in advance so that any medical situa-
the assessment of environmental vary with type of helmet. The most tion that may arise, no matter how
concerns and playing conditions. recent development in football head- atypical it may be, can be handled in
Game officials should be familiar gear absolutely requires the use of a a safe and efficient manner.
with medical personnel so that they screwdriver to remove the facemask,
make take appropriate intervention which is a clear change from face-

Suggested Reading

1. NATA Guidelines for Appropriate Coverage of Intercollegiate Athletics. Available from 69 Last viewed on September 15, 2003.

2. Prehospital Care of the Spine-Injured Athlete. Available from
Last viewed on September 15, 2003.

3. Wojtys EM, Hovda D, Landry G, et al. Concussion in sports. Am J Sports Med. 1999. 27:676-686.

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