Athlete Safety

New nata position statement:

*The NATA published a new Position Statement in December.  Check out more information on  "Preventing and Managing Sport-Related Dental and Oral Injuries" position statement.

emergency action plans:

Athletic trainers are charged with proper pre-planning to ensure a quick and appropriate response to any emergency situation.  Planning ahead and preparation can ensure that everything possible is done to have a smooth and coordinated reaction during an emergency when an individual's health is at risk.  

Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) are a comprehensive written document that outlines proper procedures to follow during an emergency.  EAPs establish the personnel that will deal with the emergency and procedures that all personnel will follow to manage the situation.  EAPs are a detailed and complete plan that should be discussed and reviewed by Athletic Trainers, Team Physicians, Administrators, appropriate Legal Counsels of the institution or sponsoring organization and coaching staffs (if applicable).  

All personnel should have an annual review of the EAP and should participate in regular mock drills to rehearse the EAP.  Personnel that will have a direct role in the immediate care of injuries should have training and/or certification in basic first aid, CPR and AED use.  In addition the personnel should have a familiarity with any preexisting medical conditions that may affect a specific individual during an emergency situation.  

Finally, personnel should have an up-to-date knowledge of specific hazards of a certain sport activity that would be common in dealing with an emergency in that sport.  For example when dealing with a football player knowledge of how to spine board an individual in full pads and removal of a face mask or how to approach an ice hockey athlete that is injured on the ice.

Components of an Emergency Action Plan:

  • Identifies the personnel directly involved with carrying out the plan. Often includes Athletic Trainers, Team Physicians, local EMS Personnel, Members of the Coaching Staff, School Nurses, and Administrators.

  • Specifies necessary emergency equipment needed, location of equipment and procedure for use. Often includes first aid kit, AED, spine board, splints and crutches.

  • Identifies primary method of communication including cell phones, land lines or radios and how EMS will be activated.

  • Specific plans for every venue utilized by an institution or sponsoring organization.

  • Detailed maps of each location or sports venue used with directions and access points for EMS transportation.

  • Specific plans for both home and away events.

  • Specific steps for dealing with emergency situations affecting athletes, staff, sideline participants and fans.