Article reposted from West Dakota Fox
Author: Cynthia McLaughlin
Gymnastics may appear to be a graceful sport, but it’s also proven to be one of the most dangerous, with more than 17,000 injuries a year.
Safely transporting an athlete with a neck or back injury can be almost as challenging as navigating the uneven bars.
If you’ve ever been in a gymnastics foam pit, you know how difficult it is to get out. Now, imagine trying to lift a gymnast out without causing more damage. Students in college athletic training programs discovered how hard of a rescue it is.
Many hands make this rescue work. Students of the University of Mary and North Dakota State University Athletic Training Programs were put to the test Friday morning. The task? An athlete has fallen into the foam pit, has neck and back trauma, and remains unresponsive. It’s the first responder’s job to extract them.
“I never realized a foam pit was 8 feet deep and working in there it’s very hard to move patients and work with patients,” said Kerry McCoy, Education Coordinator.
“Gymnastics is unique because not every town has it, not every school has it. So not every athletic trainer gets that experience in working with that type of situation,” said Brenda Potter, Certified Athletic Trainer.
Today’s simulation proved challenging because none of the surroundings were stable.
“Nothing is constant, you are always moving. You kind of have to overcorrect for the movement but you also want to keep them as still as possible,” said Becca Valleroy, Athletic Training Program student.
It took more than a half hour for a team of a dozen students to successfully lift a victim out of the foam pit.
Hopefully this training will better prepare these students if they’re ever called to a scene like this.
This is National Simulation Week, so athletic trainers have been learning how to respond to emergencies in unusual settings.
They have also been working in pools and on the football field.