Emergency Management: Athlete Care, Spinal, and Visceral Injuries

presented by Danny Smith

Accreditation Check:

The sports medicine professional must be trained and have practiced the management of the athlete with suspected spinal or visceral injuries. These practice sessions should take place prior to the season and incorporate all individuals associated with the care of the athlete. This includes those individuals on the sidelines (including physicians), emergency care personnel, coaches and other individuals identified by the emergency care team. In some instances, spinal and visceral injuries can be life threatening. Coordination of this team for on the field and off the field treatment ensures effective treatment of these athletes. Knowing how to treat, diagnose, 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.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Danny Smith, PT, DHSc, OCS, SCS, ATC

    Danny Smith, PT, DHSc, OCS, SCS, ATC

    Danny D. Smith, PT, DHSc, OCS, SCS, ATC graduated from the University of Tennessee Memphis with a BS Degree in Physical Therapy in 1972. He completed his Master’s Degree at East Tennessee State University in 1979 and his Doctor of Health Sciences at the University of St. Augustine in 1999, making him one of the first to complete a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in the US. Dr. Smith's area of study was the pre-hospital care of injured athletes by physical therapists. He also completed training as an Emergency Medical Technician and was actively involved with the Burke County (NC) Rescue Squad for a number of years. Due to his involvement in the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA, Dr. Smith was presented with the Turner A. Blackburn Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Ron Peyton Award, which is the highest award presented by the SPTS. In 1996, Dr. Smith became an instructor with the American Red Cross in Emergency Response and became an Emergency Response Instructor Trainer. His goal was to educate physical therapists in emergency care on the field, in the community, and in the classroom. Since 1996, Dr. Smith has completed over 200 Emergency Response and Emergency Medical Response classes and continues to conduct classes today. If you are interested in attending or hosting a class in your facility, please contact Dr. Smith.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Pre-Hospital Care: The Emergency Action Plan

    1. Pre-Hospital Care: The Emergency Action Plan

    In this chapter, Danny Smith emphasizes the importance of an emergency action plan, informs the viewer of the different essential components of an emergency action plan, and provides rules of evaluation for an injury on the sidelines and on the field. The lecture discusses how to obtain objective information, diagnoses, and the initial management of the injury. The chapter concludes with tips for entering into emergency care for athletes.

  2. Spinal Injuries

    2. Spinal Injuries

    When discussing spinal injuries, burners and stingers are a common occurrence among athletes. Danny Smith covers the anatomy, cause, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and return to play for burners, stingers, and skull fractures. The chapter concludes with considerations for the immediate stabilization of spinal injuries on the field for unconscious and conscious athletes.

  3. Visceral Injuries

    3. Visceral Injuries

    This chapter covers a variety of visceral injuries and focuses especially on chest and abdominal injuries. Danny Smith explains the mechanism of injury, signs and symptoms, and management for a variety of visceral injuries, specifically focusing on chest and abdominal injuries. The conditions discussed include costochondral separation, tension pneumothorax, hernia, liver contusions, appendicitis, and pelvic avulsion, among other visceral injuries.