First Aider 2011-12-01 00:00:00 Volume I Issue Issue 10
December 2011 • Volume I • Issue Issue 10
Mike Chan, ATC, head athletic trainer at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mi., was born in Taiwan and grew up in Canada. He was active in basketball, volleyball, and water polo. And like many athletic trainers, he became interested in the profession following a personal experience-a broken wrist during his junior year of high school.
After earning a biology degree at the University of Western Ontario, Mike enrolled in the sports medicine program at Central Michigan University in 1997, graduating after three years. Mike says, "The head athletic trainer at Central Michigan, John Mason, was a wonderful mentor. At his recommendation, I went to Syracuse for grad school and it was a great experience. I learned much of what I do today from Tim Neal, the current assistant athletic director for sports medicine at Syracuse.
After receiving his master's, Mike accepted an assistant job at Wayne State University. "I thought I'd be there a few years then move on," he says. "But this is my tenth season there. It is an outstanding institution with excellent leadership. I'm fortunate to be here and the school has been very good to me." During the ten years, Mike has been promoted from assistant, to associate, to head athletic trainer. This past year, he was promoted to associate athletic director of sports medicine.
Mike oversees 16 varsity sports, with a staff of four athletic trainers and two interns. He works primarily with the football team. "I love my job," he says. "Working with student athletes is a privilege, and the greatest gratification is treating them and rehabbing them back to the field or court. When an injured athlete goes on to be successful, you feel like you're part of the team."
Wayne State is a Division II school, but Mike says their sports medicine services are on par with Division I institutions. "We have team physicians, and same-day access to MRI, CT, and X-ray. We strive to give the best care under all circumstances. No two days are alike, and that's one of the great things about this job. Athletic trainers are the only people in the sports medicine department called upon to talk to everyone-students, coaches, professors, administrators, physicians, and parents. I really enjoy that."
Mike tells his student interns to try and learn something new every day they're in the training room. "I tell them that to be a good athletic trainer, you've got to be professional and whatever you put into your experience is what you're going to get out of it. If you work hard and are diligent, people will see that and you'll be recognized and receive opportunities. There's no substitute for hard work."
Last year, Mike joined Cramer's Athletic Trainer Advisory Board and he says he's looking forward to the experience over the next two years. "I feel fortunate to have been selected," he says. "It's a great opportunity to meet the folks at Cramer, and a privilege to hear what they have to say."
Washington State study: few doctors follow sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes
Fewer than six percent of doctors in the state of Washington fully follow national guidelines for assessing sudden cardiac death risk during high school sports physicals, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.
The study was based on responses of 1,113 pediatricians and family doctors and 317 high school athletic directors in Washington.
Less than half of the doctors and only six percent of the athletic directors reported that they were even aware of the guidelines. None of the athletic directors said their schools required physicals to comply with all guidelines.
In sudden cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating due to an irregular heart rhythm. Without treatment, death occurs within minutes.
"A young person at the peak of physical prowess, dying without any warning — it's a shocking, tragic and potentially preventable death," said Nicolas Madsen, M.D., M.P.H., lead researcher and pediatric cardiology fellow at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Recent studies suggest that among the more than seven million U.S. high school athletes, one out of every 30,000 to 50,000 dies annually from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.
The American Heart Association published 12-point sudden cardiac death screening guidelines for athletes in 1996 and re-affirmed them in 2007. They consist of eight medical history questions and four physical exam elements, including listening to the heart and checking blood pressure.
Researchers sent 2,190 survey questionnaires by mail and email to pediatricians, family doctors and athletic directors over two months. The unusually high response rate — 56 percent to 75 percent — suggests a compelling interest in the issue, Madsen said.
Physicians were asked questions about pre-sports physicals. Athletic directors were asked about their school's requirements for physicals.
Researchers then used regression analysis and other techniques to determine the level of compliance with national guidelines.
Doctors reported missing several critical questions during screenings:
- 28 percent didn't always ask about chest pain during exercise;
- 22 percent didn't always ask about unexplained fainting;
- 26 percent didn't always ask about a family history of early death;
- 67 percent didn't always ask about a family history of heart disease.
Study results didn't change with the doctor's specialty, level of experience, location, or the athletes' school size. Screening frequency and familiarity with the guidelines were linked to greater compliance.
"We need new directions to educate providers and improve policy requirements so patients can actually benefit from these national recommendations," Madsen said.
The doctors and athletic directors unanimously supported adopting a statewide form incorporating national screening guidelines. Parents should ask doctors and schools if a standardized form is being used, Madsen said.
Youth Sports & Safety Institute Established
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has partnered with Sanford Health, an integrated health care system, to create the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute. The ACSM says it intends for the Institute to be the recognized national leader and advocate for developing, advancing and disseminating comprehensive research, education, recommendations, guidelines and policy to enhance the experience, development, health and safety of children and adolescents involved in sports and physical activity.
The need for the Institute is underscored by a new poll that shows 91 percent of Americans feel sports participation is important for children and adolescents, and 94 percent feel more needs to be done to ensure the health and safety of youth athletes. These concerns have been fueled by reports of heat illness, concussion, undiagnosed heart conditions and other issues affecting athletes of all ages.
The Institute will initially focus on four key areas:
- Mild traumatic brain injury/concussion;
- Heat illness and injury;
- Overuse/overload and injury risk; and
- Unique clinical conditions in youth athletic populations, such as Type 1 diabetes, eating disorders, sickle cell trait, etc.
A new website, www.nyshsi.org, will provide information, links and evidence-based resources for youth athletes, medical professionals and others involved in youth sports.
"The American College of Sports Medicine and Sanford Health are embarking on a partnership that holds great promise for our young athletes and those who work with and care for them, along with their parents and families," said Thomas Best, M.D., Ph.D., past president of ACSM. "Our expertise and our shared objective of helping young athletes enjoy sports more safely have led to the birth of this institute that has unprecedented potential to improve the experience of our youth engaged in sport and physical activity. We look forward to a deep and beneficial collaboration for decades to come."
The National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute will be under the guidance of a leadership board composed of recognized individuals from across the nation with extensive clinical and scientific expertise and passion for youth sports and the many health and safety challenges that young athletes face.
"There is no question our young people need to be active, and participating in youth sports is an important component to that activity. However, too many of these young athletes are doing too much, too fast - some even suffering serious, life-threatening and life-altering injuries. This new institute will support youth athletics while also creating guidelines to protect their health and safety," said Michael F. Bergeron, Ph.D., FACSM. Bergeron, who serves as executive director of the new National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute, is also director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford Health.
Cramer's ESS Ankle Compression Sleeve:
Cramer's ESS Ankle Compression Sleeves are designed for athletes who need mild compression, increased blood flow, and endurance. The compression is medical grade, providing improved circulation that allows for faster recovery as lactic acid is more thoroughly removed from the muscles.
Bob Howard, ATC, head athletic trainer at the University of Connecticut, says he's a fan of the ESS Ankle Compression Sleeve. "I like the ESS ankle sleeve a lot," Bob says. "I use it for acute ankle sprains, ankle injuries, calf injuries, and some post-surgical situations." The patented, articulated ankle joint on the ESS allows for unrestricted movement while providing mild compression and support to the joint.
Bob continues, "I'll have an athlete put on an ESS right after treating an ankle sprain. Or, after we get done treating an acute ankle injury, we'll immediately put them in the ESS for overnight protection. In general, when these athletes with ankle sprains or injuries aren't in the training room, they're in the ESS. The sleeve seems to keep all the swelling down during ADLs, and it provides better compression than cotton sleeves. I really like the fact that it goes all the way up the ankle."
The quick drying, moisture transfer design and unique knitted fabric of the ESS Ankle Compression Ankle Sleeve guarantee athletes will experience exceptional stretch and comfort, with a lightweight fit. And you'll hear no complaints about pressure points and chafing, thanks to the sleeve's seamless construction.
Bob adds, "Using this sleeve, we get better athlete compliance than with other products because it's more comfortable. And our athletes comment that they like the way the opening at the toe is finished off so it doesn't unravel."
Hygiene issues received important consideration as the ESS Ankle Compression Sleeve was developed, and you (and many others!) will surely appreciate its anti-microbial finish that provides excellent odor management. Bob notes, "The ESS ankle sleeve holds up extremely well in the laundry, and after being washed it goes back to its original level of compression."
The ESS is made of nylon and spandex and comes in black. The sleeves are sold in pairs and come in men's sizes small, medium and large; and women's sizes small and medium.
"Cramer's ESS Ankle Compression Sleeve has truly become one of our standard go-to products," Bob says.