The level of medical services and secondary school-aged athletes



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Context: Medical organizations have recommended that administrators, parents, and community leaders explore every opportunity to make interscholastic athletic programs safe for participation, including employing athletic trainers at practices and competitive events. Objective: To determine the overall level of medical services provided for secondary school-aged athletes at high school athletic events in a rural southern state, to evaluate the employment of athletic trainers in the provision of medical services in secondary schools, and to compare athletic training medical services provided at athletic events among schools of various sizes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Questionnaires were sent to administrators at 199 secondary schools. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 144 administrators, including interscholastic athletic directors and school principals, from 199 secondary schools participated (72% response rate). Main Outcome Measure(s): Participants completed the Self-Appraisal Checklist for Health Supervision in Scholastic Athletic Programs from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has been demonstrated to be valid and reliable. The Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used to measure differences in groups. Results: We found differences in cumulative scores when measuring between institutional classifications (P≤.05). Cumulative scores for the Event Coverage section of the instrument ranged from 80.5 to 109.6 out of a total possible score of 126. We also found differences in several factors identified in the Event Coverage section (P≤.05). Conclusions: The number of coaching staff certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid was minimal. Most schools did not have a plan for providing minimal emergency equipment, ice, or water for visiting teams. We found that 88% (n = 7) of the 8 essential Event Coverage components that the American Academy of Pediatrics deems important were not addressed by schools represented in our study. © by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.

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Journal of Athletic Training

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Copyright © 2012 National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc.