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Index: December 2010
Clinical Focus:Respiratory Care
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December 2010
Clinical Focus: Respiratory Medicine
  • Asthma and the athlete
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  • Airflow function and the metabolic syndrome
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doi: 10.3810/psm.2009.12.1738
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 37: No.4
Summary of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement on the Acute Management of the Cervical Spine-Injured Athlete
Erik E. Swartz, PhD, ATC; Laura C. Decoster, ATC; Susan A. Norkus, PhD, ATC; Barry P. Boden, MD; Kevin N. Waninger, MD, MS, FAAFP, FACSM, FACEP; Ronald W. Courson, ATC, PT, NREMT-I, CSCS; MaryBeth Horodyski, EdD, ATC; And Robb S. Rehberg, PhD, ATC, CSCS, NREMT
Abstract: The incidence of catastrophic cervical spine injury in sports is low compared with other injuries. However, cervical spine injuries necessitate delicate and precise management, often involving the combined efforts of a variety of health care providers. The outcome of a catastrophic cervical spine injury depends on the efficiency of this management process and timeliness of transfer to a controlled environment for diagnosis and treatment. The objective of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) position statement on the acute care of the cervical spine-injured athlete is to provide the certified athletic trainer, team physician, emergency responder, and other health care professionals with recommendations on how to best manage a catastrophic cervical spine injury in an athlete. Recommendations are based on current evidence pertaining to prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of cervical spine injuries in sport; emergency planning and preparation to increase management efficiency; maintaining or creating neutral alignment in the cervical spine; accessing and maintaining the airway; stabilizing and transferring the athlete with a suspected cervical spine injury; managing the athlete participating in an equipment-laden sport such as football, hockey, or lacrosse; and imaging considerations in the emergency department.

Keywords: emergency medicine; neurologic outcomes; neck; cervical spine


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