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Local sports trainers and EMS get together to practice for sports worst case scenarios

Spinal chord injuries and unresponsive players were some of the exercises practiced
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Like student-athletes and coaches, the teams keeping them safe need to prepare for the season too. We caught up with sports trainers and emergency medical services this week for a training exercise at John Paul II high school.

“That’s what always goes through athletic trainer minds,” says Young’s Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Director of Athletic Training Mary Leach, “What is the worst thing that could happen on this field right now? And how am I going to respond?”

“Injuries do happen. Not uncommonly we do respond to the stadiums a number of times throughout the year, usually during football season,” says Associate Medical Director of Pitt County Emergency Medical Services Bryan Kitch, “Most injuries are minor but we are always preparing for the worst case scenario.”

With that in mind, local athletic trainers and Emergency Medical Services authorities got together to practice for that worst case scenario.

“Be able to be here and prepare for the upcoming sports season and talk through it with other medical professionals is really the best thing we could be doing,” says Leach, “Just wanted to organize with EMS a nice little meet up walk-through scenario, potential things we could run into this season. Just to make sure we are on our a game.”

“We both approach medicine from different angles. Athletic trainers are highly skilled individuals who know a lot about athletic and sports medicine,” says Kitch, “We focus more on emergency response but there is a lot of overlap. This is where we get together and discuss that overlap and figure out ways to best coordinate our care.”

They worked on spinal cord injuries and unresponsive player situations.

“It’s really important for us to get together and work out how we interface and provide our best care for our student athletes,” says Kitch.

They talked through some terminology and practical needs. All of the groups feel it was a big benefit and they are ready for the season.

“We want the pressure on because in a real life situation you are going to have pressure,” says Leach, “So to be able to have that on and be able to rise to the occasion is really what we want.”

EMS says the area schools they work with have plans in place in case athletes, fans, coaches or staff suffer injury.

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