Approximately 7.6 million high school students in the United States participate in sports. Although most sport-related injuries in adolescents are considered minor emergencies, life-threatening illnesses or injuries may occur, such as sudden cardiac arrest, heat stroke, status asthmaticus and exercise-induced asthma, catastrophic brain injuries, cervical spine injuries, heat- and cold-related illness, blunt chest/abdominal injuries, and extremity fractures resulting in compartment syndrome. Emergency preparedness in athletics involves the identification of and planning for medical services to promote the safety of the athlete, to limit injury, and to provide medical care at the site of practice or competition. Several national organizations have published guidelines for emergency preparedness in school-based athletics. Our article reviews guidelines for emergency preparedness put forth by the Sideline Preparedness collaboration (comprised of 6 major professional associations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine), the National Athletic Trainers' Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on School Health, and the American Heart Association. Additionally, we review published data examining compliance of US high schools with these recommendations for emergency preparedness in school-based athletics, determine deficiencies, and provide recommendations for improvement based on these deficiencies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation