Page 29 - Athletic Health Handbook
P. 29
Annually, sports related injuries Basic Concepts understanding of standardized,
to children and young adults result reliable, and valid methodology; most
in nearly three million ER visits, Injury surveillance consists of an importantly pertaining to definitions
30,000 hospitalizations, and billions ongoing, standardized collection of of injury occurrence, severity,
in healthcare expenditures.1,2,3 data describing the occurrence of and exposure, and at risk populations.
Currently hot topics such as the risk factors associated with injury in Readers and researchers must be aware
mechanisms and rates of sports large population groups. It provides of the nuances of ISS databases when
related concussions, catastrophic the who, what, where, when, and reviewing results and conclusions.
injuries in cheerleading, appropriate how information which is the basis of
pitch counts in youth baseball, and descriptive epidemiology. By its nature, There is not yet full consensus on
game specific head and face protection data from ISS can be broad in scope, the definition of a reportable injury.
in women’s lacrosse all have their often missing uniform detail, and In the NCAA ISS a reportable injury
genesis in information gathered from sometimes lacking context. This is defined as one that occurs as a
ISS efforts. Information gathered on information needs to be tempered with result of participation in an organized
injury types, rates, mechanisms, and a clinical mindset, focused research intercollegiate practice or competition,
risk factors in large populations of questioning, checked for real world requires medical attention by a team
athletes allow an objective assessment relevance, and serve as one tool in a certified athletic trainer or physician
of the risks of sports participation. multifaceted approach to answering and results in restriction of the
Such information provides the important health related questions. student athlete’s participation or
insights for us to partner with the performance for one or more calendar
sporting community to make athletic Surveillance information is days beyond the day of injury.4
participation safer at all levels of play. important for a number of reasons.
First, it establishes the foundation Other surveillance programs may
There are a number of well of effective prevention efforts. Only utilize a more inclusive approach
established injury surveillance systems with a true understanding of injury defining injury as any incident which
in the United States which are types and specific mechanisms has the athlete interface with medical
contributing to this effort. Historically, can priorities be defined, resources professionals be it physician
early injury surveillance efforts focused appropriately allocated, and targeted or athletic trainer, whether time
on catastrophic injury in singular prevention programs planned. ISS is lost from participation or not.
sporting groups or activities. Today’s information can often bring some These two definitions would
injury surveillance systems capture much needed “objective light” to long obviously result in different pictures
data on an expanded range of held misconceptions, isolate injury of injury priorities and common
injury severity and a wide scope clusters, or individual experiences injuries in the same sport.
of participants. Injury surveillance regarding sporting injuries. Once
programs/data entry tools can now be prevention programs are underway, Next is the concept of injury
coupled with software packaging that data collection must continue to severity. Many databases now include
afford not only basic data injury for demonstrate a program’s effectiveness concepts of injury severity based
research but also allow administrative and cost efficiency. on time lost from participation in
functions, outcomes assessments, and practice or play. However, the same
coordination of patient care. ISSs offer Second, ISS information helps injury may not result in lost play
an opportunity for our subspecialty to define the injury risk and burden time for one athlete as opposed to
participate in a growing area of sports associated with various type of sports another given their specific demands.
medicine research. A combined team participation. This is important in For an example, a metacarpal
of sports medicine physicians, allied issues such as deciding which sports to fracture which could be splinted
health professionals, epidemiologists, play, relative safety of one sport versus and played with for a soccer player,
and health administrators provide another, overall health benefits of causing minimal days of lost time
the best opportunity to make injury sports participation versus injury risk, may result in significant long-term
surveillance efforts appropriately and risk of team or individual sports loss of play with a baseball catcher.
focused, pertinent to current clinical versus other recreational activities. Other markers for severity have
practice, and applicable to the real included not only time lost from
world of sports injury. The success of any injury play, but injuries that have resulted
surveillance program is dependent in ER visitation, hospitalization,
upon the utilization and or surgical intervention.

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