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Emergency Management of Athletes With Spine and Visceral Injuries

presented by Katie Whetstone, PT, DPT, SCS

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Katie Whetstone receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Katie Whetstone has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 89 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 41 Minutes

Because of the potential severity and life-threatening nature of spinal and visceral injuries, the sports medicine professional must be well trained and effective in the management of athletes suspected of having these injuries. Each sporting venue should have an emergency action plan that includes practice runs of the plan and even the practice of spine boarding. The emergency action plan should be developed well before the start of the season and should incorporate all individuals associated with the care of the athlete, including physicians, athletic trainers, sports physical therapists, emergency care personnel, coaches, and other individuals identified by the emergency care team. In some instances, spinal and visceral injuries can quickly become life-threatening; therefore, coordination of this team for on-field and off-field response ensures quick and effective care of these athletes. Knowing how to diagnose, treat, and manage return to play for spinal and visceral injuries is essential for protecting the athlete. This course provides an in-depth discussion of visceral and spinal injuries, including potential mechanisms, signs and symptoms, and management of these conditions. In addition, the sports physical therapist can review physical skills through lab demonstrations of on-field evaluation and spine boarding.

Meet Your Instructor

Katie Whetstone, PT, DPT, SCS

Dr. Katie Whetstone is a board-certified clinical specialist in the area of sports physical therapy and a full-time faculty member at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana. Katie has a Bachelor of Science degree in the area of exercise science as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. She also completed formal sports…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction to the Emergency Action Plan

It is inevitable that at some point, the sports physical therapist will be involved in the decision-making process of sending an athlete to the hospital through Emergency Medical Services. These are the scariest and most heart-pounding moments of performing sideline coverage at sporting events. Every move the sports physical therapist makes in these situations is crucial to the overall outcome for the athlete. When in a life-and-death emergency, the sports physical therapist’s decision-making needs to be conservative and second nature. This chapter will introduce the possible life-changing spinal and visceral injuries that can occur in sports. In addition, this chapter emphasizes the importance of an emergency action plan, informs the viewer of the essential components of an emergency action plan, and provides rules of evaluation for an injury on the sidelines and on the field.

2. Spinal Injuries

When an athlete goes down and is not moving, the sports physical therapist must know how to perform an initial assessment and thorough but quick evaluation of the athlete to determine the nature of the injury. When considering potential spinal injuries, quick thinking and differential diagnosis are key. In this chapter, Katie Whetstone covers spinal anatomy and symptoms of various conditions involving the spine. In addition, a step-by-step approach to evaluation of the potential spinal injury is given.

3. Emergency Response to the Spine-Injured Athlete

In this lab demonstration, the sports medicine team runs to the side of an athlete who is down and is not moving. Viewers can follow along with the step-by-step initial assessment and evaluation of the athlete, which eventually leads to spine boarding and emergency transportation of the athlete.

4. Visceral Injuries

This chapter covers a variety of visceral injuries and focuses especially on chest and abdominal injuries and their common referral patterns. Katie Whetstone emphasizes typical mechanisms of injury, signs and symptoms, and acute management for a variety of visceral injuries.

5. Spinal and Visceral Injuries Q&A

In this interview-style chapter, the sports medicine team of Todd Arnold and Katie Whetstone share their experiences in the acute management of spinal and visceral injuries prior to hospital transport.

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