On June 25th, the NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ASSOCIATION (NATA) will conduct its 64th Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposia in Las Vegas. An inter-association task force consensus statement will be released on “Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs: Best Practice Recommendations.” This advanced-release will be” published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication.”
Key insights into this subject matter will deal with the secondary school athletic population, which “leads the nation in athletic deaths with cardiac, heat stroke and head injuries being the three leading causes of death.”
Areas of concern are:
- The lack of a “national organization at the secondary school level authorized to make policies and provide guidelines that must be adopted universally at all school programs. Guidelines are implemented state by state and state associations usually are not governed by medical staff so lifesaving health policies are determined by coaches and athletic administrators.”
- The need to make use of “proper recognition and emergency protocols” for developing best practice recommendations to “serve as a roadmap for policy consideration regarding the safety of secondary school athletes.” Identified as among the ”leading causes of sudden death in this population” are “head and neck injuries, exertional heat stroke, sudden cardiac arrest and exertional sickling.”
The task force assigned to address these concerns was “spearheaded by NATA (www.nata.org) in collaboration with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Supporting organizations include the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Other task force members include: American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Emergency Physicians; American College of Sports Medicine; American Medical Society for Sports Medicine; American Osteopathic Academy for Sports Medicine; American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; Korey Stringer Institute; Gatorade Sports Science Institute; National Council on Strength and Fitness; and The National Federation of State High Schools.”