By John Frierson
Employees Author

A distinct form of apply was occurring contained in the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility on Thursday. As an alternative of soccer gamers operating routes or engaged on their blocking method, paramedics have been coaching to get higher at coping with sports-related emergency medical conditions.

An all-day occasion placed on by UGA Sports activities Medication and the Regional Trauma Advisory Committee of the Georgia Trauma Fee, the 2023 RTAC Sports activities Medication Convention featured 165 attendees and 10 completely different audio system. Entrance and middle all through, from delivering the opening remarks to talking on subjects as wide-ranging as treating heatstroke and the administration of backbone accidents, was Ron Courson, Govt Affiliate Athletic Director and Georgia’s Director of Sports activities Medication.

Courson mentioned Area 10 of the RTAC requested him and longtime emergency medical technician (EMT) Glenn Henry, the previous emergency medical providers (EMS) program chair at Athens Technical Faculty, to place collectively a coaching program for paramedics.

“Quite a lot of EMTs and paramedics cowl Friday evening soccer video games, and so they have nice coaching in emergency medication, however typically they do not have as a lot experience in sports activities medication,” Courson mentioned. 

Together with lectures from quite a few medical doctors, athletic trainers and different medical professionals, the course included on-field labs throughout which the attendees might get hands-on coaching in coping with particular sports activities accidents and emergency conditions.

Courson, who can also be an EMT and has needed to take care of all method of injured athletes in his profession, together with these with neck and spinal accidents, mentioned that it is crucial that paramedics know how you can finest to help athletes with doubtlessly main accidents, significantly in soccer.

“Paramedics and EMTs could have nice experience in trauma conditions and spine-boarding (placing the injured on again boards), however they might not have that a lot coaching in how you can take soccer shoulder pads off. Or how take a helmet off in a backbone emergency,” he mentioned. “Not all helmets are the identical, and never all pads are the identical, so you must know the completely different gear and know the completely different nuances of how you can take it off safely.”

One other component to the coaching concerned coping with these affected by heatstroke, one thing that comes up throughout the nation every summer time, significantly throughout preseason practices in any respect ranges of soccer.

“Heatstroke is a distinct factor. With EMS, you ordinarily wish to get them to the hospital as fast as you’ll be able to. However heatstroke is a distinct factor, the place you wish to cool the particular person after which transport them,” Courson mentioned. “That is the good factor concerning the lab, you’ll be able to have the lecture however then you too can reveal one of the best ways to do issues.”

A key component to paramedics and EMTs working with sports activities medication workers and athletic trainers in emergency conditions, Courson mentioned, is communication. 

“I have been an EMT for 35 years, so it is simpler for me to speak to an EMT as a result of I’m one and I do know their language,” he mentioned. “The extra I can cross-train my workers, and my purpose is to have all of my workers be athletic trainers and emergency medical technicians; the extra we will cross-train there, it makes us higher, nevertheless it additionally helps with the data trade.”

Ten years in the past, Courson and his workers began what they referred to as “the medical timeout” — it is a apply that has been picked up throughout the nation, he mentioned, and within the NFL. Earlier than each competitors in each sport, Georgia’s sports activities medication workers get along with the medical workers for the opposing crew, together with the paramedics working the sport, to have a 10-minute assembly to debate every particular person’s function and the place they are going to be positioned, the place the gear is positioned, and the situation of the closest hospital.

“Sports activities medication groups are similar to a (sports activities) crew, you must apply,” Courson mentioned. “All people has a task. And the extra you get athletic trainers and EMTs and paramedics and nurses collectively to speak about roles and tasks, it in the end helps the sufferers.”

Assistant Sports activities Communications Director John Frierson is the workers author for the UGA Athletic Affiliation and curator of the ITA Males’s Tennis Corridor of Fame. You will discover his work at: Frierson Information. He is additionally on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.

By Editor