Injured players could suffer more damage if new medical guidelines are not followed
If you work with athletes in any sport where they wear equipment, there’s important, new, information.
Injured players could suffer more damage if new medical guidelines are not followed, and a free seminar Tuesday can help.
New research is changing the way doctors, trainers, coaches, EMS and even other players respond to a football player injured on the field. The new treatment could mean the difference in a player being able to walk again.
“I think we’ve had more than our share, in the state of Louisiana, of catastrophic injuries, not just football, but again, in all sports. And Tulane University has taken the forefront long before the NFL came up with the Heads Up program,” said Dean Kleinschmidt, a certified athletic trainer and Tulane Program Assistant in the School of Medicine and Institute of Sports Medicine.
Until now, there was no consistent rule about when and how to remove the equipment of the injured player. Paramedic Elvis Smith is called to the field about five times each football season.
“One trainer might want to take the pads and helmet off, or the next one might say, ‘No. Leave it all on,”‘ said Smith, an EMS clinical educator at East Jefferson General Hospital and a National Registered Paramedic.
The new research shows why, in many cases, the equipment should be removed by a team of trained people on the field.
“It makes more sense for the people familiar with the equipment to remove the equipment as opposed to taking them to the emergency room, where emergency room physicians and nurses aren’t familiar with the equipment,” said Dr. Greg Stewart, a Tulane sports medicine specialist.
Still there are times when the equipment should be left on. And the way it is removed is paramount.
“If you take the helmet off, but leave the shoulder pads on, then there is a significant change in the angle of the neck, so if you take off one, you have to take off the other” Dr. Stewart said.
Coaches are hoping people across the area will come to Tulane for the new training.
“When you have good people, they know the procedure. They know what to do when something goes wrong. You know, it’s just a good feeling. You can rest easy,” said Curtis Johnson, Tulane’s head football coach.
The seminar is free and will be held Tuesday at Tulane from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Trainers, doctors, paramedics, coaches and lawyers are invited. For more information, call 864-2127.