Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Automated Internal Defibrillator in Action

After a discussion in class the other day regarding cardiac issues in sport, a student had asked if I had seen the following video.

One, I'm glad he is OK, and back on the pitch.  Two, I can't believe I didn't see this before (thanks Devon), but it is a tremendous testament to modern technology and athletics. In the AT world we often talk about managing cardiac events with an automated external defibrillator (AED) and CPR, but seldom how best to manage this situation.  It's a good reminder that appropriate emergency transport and testing should be completed prior to return to competition (which likely goes without saying, but there it is anyway).  It is highly likely future ATC's will be seeing more of these as both testing and technology advance.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sickle Cell Testing by NCAA...What to do?

Recently, the NCAA issued guidelines which required mandatory sickle cell testing of athletes.  This was seen as taking a proactive step in insuring the overall health and well being of student athletes.

However, other reports are a bit contradictory.,  Additional read here.  NPR (yes, I'm getting old) reports here that the American Society of Hematology suggests that the NCAA integrate coping (read, counseling) services along with their testing.  Their additional suggestion?  That the NCAA models their program after the US Army.  The Army does not require testing (as of 1996), but does closely monitor a number of areas during physical activity, including acclimatization to heat, physical exertion and hydration status.  They also have mandatory rest periods.  Those specific areas are exactly within the domain of athletic trainers; and one would hope that all ATC's work closely with their athletic teams in providing practice guidelines in adverse and normal conditions.   I have been unable to find any documentation of sickle cell associated deaths within the Army, but it certainly begs the question, if the ASH recommends it, they must have a solid track record, right?  Let's hope so.

So what do you think?  Good move by the NCAA, or is more (or less) intervention needed?