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Environmental Considerations for the Athlete

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.

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Video Runtime: 119 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 47 Minutes

Athletes compete in all types of environments, and the weather at sporting events can be quite unpredictable. But no matter the weather, the sports physical therapist needs to be ready to both prevent and treat weather-related injuries. The sports physical therapist plays a vital role in the safety of not only the athletes, but also the coaches, officials, and spectators of various athletic events occurring in all types of climates and conditions. In this course on environmental considerations for the athlete, Katie Whetstone (sports physical therapist) and Todd Arnold (sports medicine physician) will address the prevention and treatment of common weather-related injuries, such as heat illness, hypothermia, dehydration, and altitude sickness, and give tips for lightning safety during outdoor events. Katie and Todd will share their real-life experiences while answering your frequently asked questions regarding environmental safety.

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 Heat Conditions

This chapter will provide an introduction to heat-related injuries and the importance of quick and effective decision-making in the presence of harsh environmental conditions. In hot conditions, the body can often lose control of its thermoregulation, resulting in heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or death. This chapter discusses the importance of maintaining equilibrium in hot and/or humid conditions. We will also provide a basic review of the body’s mechanisms, such as sweating and shivering, that maintain normal body temperature in both hot and cold conditions.

2. Introduction to Cold Conditions

The most common cold-related conditions athletes experience are hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is described as a general cooling of the body, while frostbite is the freezing of body tissues. This chapter will describe the different stages of each of the injuries, as well as treatment and prevention options.

3. Lightning Safety

Outdoor sporting events pose a unique risk to the athletes, coaches, officials, and spectators due to the chance of lightning-related injury. This chapter will discuss the protocol for treating lightning injuries, including a safety assessment of the area, evaluation and treatment options, and prevention guidelines, including the flash-to-bang ratio.

4. Hydration

Dehydration can affect the physical and mental performance of athletes and often is not recognized until after the athlete is dehydrated. This chapter will discuss signs, symptoms, and treatment strategies for dehydration, as well as tactics to get the athlete to remain hydrated throughout training and competition without becoming overhydrated.

5. Travel-Related Illnesses

Regardless of location, the illness and fatigue that often comes with travel can become very limiting to athletes at all ages and competition levels. For athletes who travel to areas of high elevation for sport and competition, altitude-related illnesses are likely and can lead to very serious conditions. This chapter discusses the signs, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of travel-related conditions such as altitude sickness and jet lag.

More Courses in this Series

Emergency Management of Soft-Tissue Injuries

Presented by Katie Whetstone, PT, DPT, SCS

Emergency Management of Soft-Tissue Injuries

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Video Runtime: 71 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 44 Minutes

For physical therapists, soft-tissue injuries such as sprains and strains are nothing new; however, lacerations, punctures, and traumatic amputations that are sometimes seen during on-field coverage of sporting events may require quick and effective decision-making in order to keep the athlete safe from more emergent conditions. In this course, sports medicine practitioners Katie and Todd will discuss the most common soft-tissue injuries, their typical courses of treatment, and return-to-play considerations. In addition, a thorough lab demonstration on bleeding control and care of open wounds will be provided to assist the sports physical therapist in both preventing and managing shock.

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Emergency Management of Cardiovascular Conditions

Presented by Katie Whetstone, PT, DPT, SCS

Emergency Management of Cardiovascular Conditions

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Video Runtime: 62 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 36 Minutes

Cardiovascular emergencies are unfortunately common in the sporting population; therefore, it is crucial for the sports physical therapist to be able to identify those at risk for cardiovascular conditions and to be able to react quickly and effectively in case of a cardiac emergency. In this course, Katie Whetstone (sports physical therapist) will review common cardiovascular conditions and emergencies in the athlete, as well as review the pathophysiology of sickle cell trait and its implications in the athlete.

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Emergency Management of Athletes With Spine and Visceral Injuries

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Emergency Management of Athletes With Spine and Visceral Injuries

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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.

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Emergency Management of Skeletal Injuries

Presented by Katie Whetstone, PT, DPT, SCS

Emergency Management of Skeletal Injuries

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Video Runtime: 71 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 39 Minutes

As physical therapists, we are often comfortable taking care of musculoskeletal injuries such as fractures and dislocations subacutely, but rarely do we witness and treat those injuries acutely. The sports physical therapist, on the other hand, must be ready at all times to skillfully and safely assess and manage these injuries when they happen during training or competition. In this course, the sports medicine team of Katie Whetstone (sports physical therapist) and Todd Arnold (sports medicine physician) will guide you through the practice of assessing, immobilizing, and otherwise treating acute musculoskeletal injuries through instruction and lab demonstration. Additionally, we will help you to monitor for signs of life-threatening injuries that are often associated with skeletal injuries and discuss return-to-play guidelines following skeletal injuries.

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Protective Sports Equipment and Proper Fitting

Presented by Katie Whetstone, PT, DPT, SCS

Protective Sports Equipment and Proper Fitting

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Video Runtime: 60 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 36 Minutes

One of the primary responsibilities of the sports medicine professional is the prevention of injury. What role does the sports medicine professional play in the proper fit of protective equipment, and what is the role of the sports medicine professional in the modification of this equipment? Protective equipment is designed to absorb the shock of collision and/or contact in sports. Proper fitting of protective equipment is the first step in the prevention or minimization of sports-related injury, especially in contact and/or collision sports. This course will provide information and demonstration regarding the most common types of protective sports equipment, tutorials for proper fitting of this equipment, and an interview session where sports professionals will share stories of mishaps with protective equipment.

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