Monday, Oct 16, 2017
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Are you prepared for the expected & unexpected

Yesterday, Philadelphia Eagles, defensive tackle Mike Patterson ended up on the ground on his back, convulsing and biting his tongue.  This is certainly not something that happens everyday at a football practice.  From all accounts it appears that the Philadelphia Eagles athletic training staff had an emergency plan in place. 

In an earlier article I addressed the need to have an emergency management plan in place.  I further suggested that it was necessary to have a full-time, NATA Certified Athletic Trainer as part of the plan to implement that emergency management plan.  The involvement and implementation an emergency plan by two certified athletic trainers underscores how, what could have been an unfortunate occurrence, turned out well. 

Ironically, this incident happened almost exactly ten years to the day from when Corey Stringer died at an NFL training camp.  There were allegations made at that time that the Vikings did not have an appropriate emergency management plan in place to deal with heat related issues, and multiple legal actions resulted from that unfortunate incident.  Does your emergency management plan include dealing with heat-related issues?  The NCAA’ Injury Surveillance reveals that a student-athletes faces a significantly higher risk of suffering heat-related illness during a practice than in a game.  According to the NCAA, an athlete has a 3.9 percent chance of suffering heat illness during football practice, 1.7 percent during men’s soccer practice and 1.6 percent during women’s soccer practice as opposed to a less than 1 percent chance of such an occurrence during a game for the same sports.  This underscores the importance of including heat illness prevention as part of your plan.

There is no question that heat-related tragedies are preventable, and clearly are to be expected.  Make certain that your team is prepared for the expected and unexpected.

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