Chapter 12 On the Field Acute Care and Emergency
Flow chart of emergency procedures (Figure 12-1) page 276
The on-the-field assessment may be divided into a primary survey and a secondary survey.
The primary survey, which is done initially, determines the existence of potentially life-threatening
situations, including problems with the airway, breathing, and circulation and with severe bleeding and shock. The primary survey takes precedence over all other aspects of victim assessment and should be used to correct
The secondary survey gathers information about the injury sustained by the athlete, systematically
assesses vital signs and symptoms, and allows for a more detailed evaluation of the injury.
The unconscious athlete must always be considered to have a life-threatening injury, which
requires an immediate primary survey.
Dealing with an unconscious athlete page 276-278.
External bleeding can be managed through direct pressure, elevation, or pressure points.
Shock occurs when a diminished amount of blood is available to the circulatory system, that
is, when the vascular system loses its capacity to hold the fluid portion of blood within its system because of dilation of
blood vessels within the body and disruption of the osmotic fluid balance. When
shock occurs, a quantity of only plasma moves from the blood vessels into the tissue spaces of the body, leaving the blood
cells within the blood vessels, causing stagnation, and slowing the blood flow. As
a result, not enough oxygen-carrying blood cells are available to the tissues, particularly those of the nervous system. With this general collapse of the vascular system comes widespread tissue death, which
will eventually cause the death of this individual unless treatment if given.
Certain conditions, such as extreme fatigue, extreme exposure to heat or cold, extreme dehydration of fluids and mineral
loss, or illness, predispose an athlete to shock. In a situation in which there
is potential shock condition, there are other signs by which the athletic trainer should assess the possibility of the athletes
lapsing into a state of shock as an aftermath of the injury. The most important
clue to potential shock is recognition of a severe injury. It may happen that
none of the usual signs of shock is present.
The main types of shock are hypovolemic, respiratory, neurogenic, psychogenic, cardiogenic, septic, anaphylactic, and
Hypovolemic shock stems from trauma in which there is blood loss. Decreased
blood volume causes a decrease in blood pressure. Without enough blood in the
circulatory system, organs are not properly supplied with oxygen.
Respiratory shock occurs when the lungs are unable to supply enough oxygen to the circulating blood. Trauma that produces a pneumothorax or an injury to the breathing control mechanism can produce respiratory
Neurogenic shock is caused by the general dilation of blood vessels within the cardiovascular system. When it occurs, the typical six liters of blood can be no longer supply oxygen to the body.
Psychogenic shock refers to what is commonly known as fainting (syncope). It
is caused by temporary dilation of blood vessels that reduces the normal amount of blood in the brain.
Cardiogenic shock refers to the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to the body.
Septic shock occurs from a severe, usually bacterial, infection. Toxins
liberated from the bacteria cause small blood vessels in the body to dilate.
Anaphylactic shock is the result of a severe allergic reaction caused by foods, insect stings, or drugs or by inhaling
dusts, pollen, or other substances.
Metabolic shock happens when a severe illness such as diabetes goes untreated.
Another cause is an extreme loss of bodily fluid (e.g. through urination, vomiting, or diarrhea).
Signs of shock
1. Blood pressure is low
2. Systolic pressure is usually below 90 mm Hg.
3. Pulse is rapid and weak
4. Athlete may be drowsy and appear sluggish
5. Respiration is shallow and extremely rapid
6. Skin is pale, cool, and clammy
Management of shock
Depending on the causative factor of shock, the following emergency care should be given:
1. Maintain body temperature as close to normal
2. Elevate the feet and legs eight to twelve
inches for most situations. However, shock positioning varies according to the
type of injury. For a neck injury, the athlete should be immobilized as found;
for a head injury, his or her head and shoulders should be elevated; and for a leg fracture, his or her legs should be kept
level and should be raised after splinting.
Shock can also be compounded or even initially produced by the psychological reaction of the athlete to an injury situation. Fear or the sudden realization that a serious situation has occurred can result in
shock. In the case of psychological reaction to an injury, the athlete should
be instructed to lie down and avoid viewing the injury. The athlete should be
held with patience and gentleness, but firmness as well. Spectators should be
kept away from the injured athlete. Reassurance is of vital concern to the injured
individual. The person should be given immediate comfort through the loosening
of clothing. Nothing should be given by mouth until a physician has determined
that no surgical procedures are indicated.
Carotid, brachial, radial, ulnar, femoral, popliteal, posterior tibial, dorsal pedalis
Normal 60 to 80 beats adults, 80 to 100 beats in children
Normal breathing 12 breaths adults, 20 to 25 breaths in children
Systolic blood pressure-the pressure caused by the hearts pumping
Diastolic blood pressure-the residual pressure when the heart is between beats
Normal systolic for 15 to 20 y/o is 115 to 120 mm Hg
Normal diastolic for 15 to 20 y/o is 75 to 80 mm Hg
Normal blood pressure for females is usually 8 to 10 mm Hg lower than males
State of consciousness
Abnormal nerve response
Immediate treatment (PRICE)
CHAPTER 13 Off the field Evaluation
EVALUATION OF SPORTS INJURIES
Four distinct evaluation are routinely conducted: the
pre-participation physical examination, done prior to the start of preseason practice; the initial on-the-field assessment,
is done immediately after acute injury to determine the immediate course of acute care, necessary first aid, and handling
of emergency situations; a more detailed off-the-field injury evaluation is done in the athletic training room, clinic, emergency
room, or physicians office after appropriate first aid has been rendered; and a progress evaluation is done periodically throughout
the rehabilitative process for determining the progress and effectiveness of a specific treatment regimen.
Athletic trainers recognize and evaluate sports injuries, but by law they cannot make diagnoses.
Etiology cause of disease
Pathology structural and functional changes that result from an injury
Symptom Symptoms are subjective and are described by the athlete to the coach or athletic
trainer, or physician.
Sign an objective, definitive and obvious indicator for a specific condition.
Indication condition, which warrants certain actions
Example: an indication for using aspirin is a headache.
Contraindication condition in which certain action would prove harmful
Example: a contraindication for taking medication is drinking alcohol.
Off-the-field evaluation (HOPS)
Determining whether the injury is acute or chronic
AROM, PROM, RROM
Manual muscle testing
Cerebral function, cranial nerve function, cerebellar function,
sensory testing, reflex testing
Functional performance testing
Anthropometric measurements (body fat)
The term reflex refers to involuntary response to stimulus. In terms of
the neurological examination there are three types of reflexes: deep tendon (somatic)
reflexes, superficial reflexes, and pathological reflexes.
A deep tendon reflex is caused by stimulation of the stretch reflex and results in an involuntary contraction of muscle
because of stretch of its tendon. Deep tendon reflexes can be elicited at the
tendons of the biceps (C5), brachioradialis (C6), triceps (C7), patella (L4), and Achilles (S1).
Superficial reflexes are elicited by stimulation of the skin at specific sites, which produces a reflex muscle contraction. Superficial reflexes include upper abdominal (T7, 8, 9), lower abdominal (T11, 12),
cremasteric (T12, L1), plantar (S1, 2), and gluteal (L4, S3). An absence of a
superficial reflex is indicative of some lesion in the cerebral cortex of the brain.
Pathological reflexes are also superficial reflexes. The presence of a
pathological reflex indicates a lesion in the cerebral cortex, an absence indicates integrity.
Babinskis sign, in which stroking of the lateral plantar surface produces extension and splaying of the toes, is an
example of a pathological reflex. Chaddocks, Oppenheims, and Gordons are additional
SOAP Notes is the documentation of acute athletic injury findings and a plan of action to
This component includes the subjective statements provided by the injured athlete. History taking is designed to elicit the subjective impressions of the athlete relative to time, mechanism,
and site of injury. The type and course of the pain and the degree of disability
experienced by the athlete are also noteworthy.
Objective findings result form the athletic trainers visual inspection, palpation, and assessment
of active, passive, and resistive motion. Findings of special testing should
also be noted here. Thus the objective report would include assessment of posture,
presence of deformity or swelling, and location of point tenderness. Also, limitations
of active motion and pain arising or disappearing during passive and resistive motion should be noted. Finally, the results of special tests relative to joint stability or apprehension are also included.
Assessment of the injury is the athletic trainers professional judgment with regard to impression
and nature of injury. Although the exact nature of the injury will not always
be known initially, information pertaining to suspected site and anatomical structures involved is appropriate. A judgment of severity may be included but is not essential at the time of acute injury evaluation.
The plan should include the first aid treatment rendered to the athlete and the sports therapists
intentions relative to disposition. Disposition may include referral for more
definitive evaluation or simply, wrap, or crutches and a request to report for reevaluation the next day. If the injury were chronic, the examiners plan for treatment and therapeutic exercise would be appropriate. The treatment plan should establish specific short-term goals for the rehabilitation
program and should provide criteria-based guidelines for accomplishing these goals.
CHAPTER 14 Bloodborne Pathogens
Bloodborne pathogens are transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. Hepatitis, especially the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) are of special concern.
Bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that can potentially cause disease and are present in human blood
and other body fluids, including: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal
fluid, synovial fluid, and other fluid contaminated with blood. A number
of other bloodborne diseases exist, including hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and syphilis.
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is spread by lack of personal hygiene and can be transmitted during unprotected sexual intercourse,
from contact with feces of infected persons, and from shellfish taken from contaminated water.
Good sanitation, personal hygiene, and properly cooking shellfish at high temperatures are essential for prevention.
Although HIV has been widely addressed in the media, HBV has a higher possibility for spread than HIV, and thus athletic
trainers should be more concerned about contracting HBV. Hepatitis B virus is
stronger and more durable than HIV and can be spread more easily via sharp objects, open wounds, and bodily fluids.
HBV is a major cause of viral infection; it results in swelling, soreness, and loss of normal
function of the liver.
The signs and symptoms in a person infected with HBV include flu-like
symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, fever, and possibly jaundice. It is possible that an individual infected with HBV will exhibit no signs or symptoms, and the virus may
Good hygiene and avoiding high-risk activities is the best way to avoid HBV.
HBV can survive for at least one week in dried blood or on contaminated surfaces and may be transmitted through contact
with these surfaces.
Vaccination against HBV must be made available by the employer at no cost to any individual who may be exposed to blood
or other body fluids and may thus be at risk of contracting HBV. The vaccine
is given in 3 doses over a six-month period.
Unlike HBV, there is no vaccine for HIV.
Latex gloves should be worn whenever the athletic trainer handles blood or bodily fluids. Gloves are always removed carefully and disposed of properly after use. Hands and skin the comes in contact with blood must be washed immediately.
Uniforms containing blood must be removed and changed before the athlete can return to competition.
All contaminated surfaces such as treatment tables, taping tables, work areas, and floors
should be cleaned immediately with a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water (1:10) or with a disinfectant approved
by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sharps refers to sharp object used in the athletic training, such as needles, razor blades,
and scalpels. Extreme care should be taken when handling and disposing of sharps
to minimize risk of puncturing or cutting the skin. Whenever needles are used,
they should not be recapped, bent, or removed from the syringe. This extra handling
may result in accidental exposure to the sharp surfaces that may contain blood. Sharps
should be disposed of in a leakproof and puncture-resistant container. The container
should be red and labeled as a biohazard.
CHAPTER 15 Using Therapeutic Modalities
Modality- application of anything that affects a person's physiology in a therapeutic way
helps to provide an optimal environment for healing.
Modalities help to break the pain-spasm cycle (vicious cycle),
reduce secondary hypoxic injury, reduce edema/effusion, and help create an optimal environment for healing.
- Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
(Elevation must be above the level of the heart to be effective)
Cryotherapy- the application of cold
Thermotherapy- the application of heat
application of electricity
Compression- any application that applies a compressive force to reduce swelling
Physiologic reactions to cold:
Decrease blood flow to area
Decrease muscle spasm
Decrease pain perception
Decrease metabolic rate at which reactions occur
Decrease connective tissue stretchability
Increase joint stiffness
Contraindications to cryotherapy - (why not to use)
Not more that 30 mins
Stages of Cold application
0-3 mins- feels cold
2-7 mins-burns and aches
15-30 mins- Hunting Response - increased blood flow to prevent tissue damage from too much cold exposure
Modes of Application:
Ice massage- 5-10 min- good for spasm and tendinitis
immersion- 10-20 min- 48-58 degrees, good for extremities
Ice packs- 15-20 min
Ice towels- towels with Ice and water
good for heat illness
***Chemical packs- don't get cold enough, or get too cold. Possibility of chemical leakage
increase blood flow
decrease muscle spasm
increase metabolic rate
increase connective tissue stretchability
decrease joint stiffness
increase edema (in acute situations)
Never use during acute inflammatory stage
Never use over abdomen of pregnant female
Never use over area of decreased
Never use over genitalia
Never use over eyes
Never use over area of infection
Modes of application
Hydrocollator packs - moist heat, water 140-150 deg
Warm whirlpool - 102-110 deg, 90-100 deg if full body
- heat lamps, paraffin wax bath 120 degrees
Diathermy - heats tissue through short wave or microwave
(counter irritant) - does not cause increase in temperature. Only feels warm because it irritates nerve endings.
Ultrasound- provides heating and micromassage through sound waves. Can also be used to drive medication
across skin barrier.
Electrical stimulation- can be used to block pain, cause muscle to contract, or drive medications
across skin barrier.