Author: Yuri Hosokawa

Exertional Hyponatremia

Exertional Hyponatremia

By Rachel Katch, Assistant Director of Research  

Exertional hyponatremia (EH) is a rare, yet potentially fatal condition that is associated with a serum sodium concentration less than 130mEq/L. There are two common causes for this lack of sodium in the blood, which are: (1) an individual ingests fluid replacement beverages well beyond sweat losses, and (2) an individual’s sodium losses through sweat are not replaced adequately. There are many risk factors for developing this condition, but a few key factors are overhydration, participating in events that last longer than four hours, and gender. Many individuals think that the more fluid they ingest, the better for their body it is during exercise. This is not always the case. By over hydrating, you are setting yourself up for EH due to sodium depletion. Secondly, by competing in exercise greater than four hours, an individual tends to drink more fluid due to the increased time, which would again set them up for sodium depletion both from sweating and overhydrating. And lastly, gender does play a role. EH is more commonly found in females due to their generally small stature. The theory is the smaller the body mass index, the more effect overhydrating will have on the body due to having a smaller mass to dilute.

The signs and symptoms, as well as treatment, of EH are outlined in Table 1. Mild symptoms generally occur with a serum sodium concentration between 135-130mEq/L. Moderate to severe symptoms start to occur when serum sodium concentrations start falling below 130mEq/L. The lower the sodium concentration, the faster an individual will decline in health, and if they are not treated appropriately EH possibly will result in death due to encephalopathy.

There are many ways to implement prevention strategies to mitigate the risk of suffering from EH, which include but are not limited to: (1) education on fluid intake before, during, and after competition, (2) maintaining a healthy diet that incorporates appropriate sodium intake, and (3) creating individualized fluid replacement protocols. Proper education on hydration is a key feature to preventing EH by letting individuals know what is appropriate so they do not overhydrate. Prior to exercise, an individual would want to be hydrated; but what does that mean? Proper pre-exercise hydration includes consuming 500-600mL of water or sports drink two to three hours before exercising, and then consuming 200-300mL 10-20 minutes before. Appropriate hydration during an event is crucial as well, and generally includes consuming 200-300mL every 10-20 minutes. And lastly, post-exercise hydration aims to correct any fluid loss during exercise by consuming fluid containing water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes within two hours of exercise completion.  

Table 1. Exertional Hyponatremia Signs & Symptoms with Treatment


Maintaining a healthy diet that incorporates correct sodium intake for your exercise is also important. Dietary sodium supports normal body maintenance of fluid balance and can help prevent muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and EH. This is especially important for those individuals exercising in hot weather due to the excess sodium depletion through sweating. It is significant to note that sports drinks generally contain low levels of sodium relative to blood, and should not be the only source of sodium replenishment. Instead, eat salty foods such as soup or pretzels prior to exercise while using sports drink as a supplement the diet.

Lastly, creating individual fluid replacement protocols is the most effective way to prevent EH. An individualized fluid prescription incorporates, but is not limited to, factors such as: (1) sweat rate, (2) sport dynamics (rest breaks, access to fluid), (3) environmental factors, (4) acclimatization state, (5) exercise duration, (6) exercise intensity, (7) gastric emptying/intestinal absorption, and (8) individual preferences. Some individuals sweat more than others; have a slower gastric emptying rate; have different fitness/heat acclimatization status; etc. which all lead to different fluid replacement protocols. These protocols should always be individualized and not generalized to maximize performance and to mitigate the risk of suffering from EH.

Everyone is different, and their fluid replacement protocols should be no exception.    

KSI Fellowship


This summer, Korey Stringer Institute welcomed the first fellow, Kyle MacKinnon, BS, ATC. (Photo from left: Dr. Stearns, Sarah Attanasio, Rachel VanScoy, Luke Belval, William Adams, Dr. Huggins, Lesley Vandermark, Andrea Fortunati, Kyle MacKinnon)


By Kyle MacKinnon

Going to college at Ithaca College, I was fortunate enough to gain the mentorship of Kent Scriber. Kent was known for his stories from his early career. In 1985 he provided potentially life-saving treatment to a young track athlete suffering from exertional heat stroke. This athlete was Douglas Casa, the Chief Operating Officer of the Korey Stringer Institute. One day over our winter break, my program director emailed me with an opportunity-a summer position had been posted at KSI. After a period of emails, phone calls, and interviews I was fortunate enough to be selected as the inaugural KSI research fellow.

After graduating college in the spring, I had about two weeks of nothing. Quickly, this passed and I was off to Storrs, Connecticut. I started at KSI on June 1st. Although I am only here for 8 short weeks, I have been immersed in several on-going projects. From high school policy updates to a prolonged study on performance variables and soccer players, I have gained invaluable insight into the world of research and sports safety. Most recently I have been creating an informational video on heat acclimatization. Many of KSI’s research publications have been compiled into policies to optimize safety. The video project is designed to be an accessible resource for all those who may encounter heat stress.

My time here has given me a better awareness of what goes on in world of research. It is filled with tough work and even tougher people doing the work. The process behind a publication was almost a mystery to me before I came to KSI. After observing and having conversations with my colleagues I have a firmer understanding of the process. One thing that I have learned that is a constant is that something can always be better, whether that means getting new eyes on a paper or stepping back and trying a new perspective.

There is a constant need for more research. In an era of information, KSI is committed to producing only the best quality evidence and research. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to be at the front lines of research. The lessons taught to me here will follow me throughout my career and life.


NATA Clinical Sympoisa & AT Expo

NATA 2015

By Luke Belval, Director of Military and Occupational Safety

This past week KSI converged on St. Louis for the NATA Clinical Sympoisa & AT Expo. This annual meeting of athletic trainers is unique for KSI as our staff fulfills multiple roles over the course of several days. From rolling out new programs at the exhibit hall to presenting research, KSI has developed a foundational presence amongst athletic trainers and the convention center in St. Louis proved to be no exception.

With its first class reputation for research, KSI uses the NATA Clinical Symposia to disseminate its information to help inform the practices of athletic trainers. Director of Research, Lesley Vandermark, kicked off the week by presenting a course on “Best Practices for Preventing Sudden Death in Athletes”, which examined how appropriate screening could help save athletes lives. As a continuation of the landmark CATCH-ON study, Assistant Director of Youth Sport Safety, Alicia Pike, presented the results of a study that examined athletic training services in private secondary schools to compare to the public setting. Vice President of Operations and Education, Rebecca Stearns, presented “Medical Injuries and Illnesses at an Ironman Triathlon Competition” as a result of KSI’s relationship with the Lake Placid Ironman to help shed light on the needs of the ultra-endurance athlete. Yuri Hosokawa, Director of Education and Communication, presented some results of the 2014 Falmouth Road Race Study demonstrating the physiological responses of athletes in the heat. Finally, William Adams, Director of Sport Safety Policies, released the results of a case study of a runner returning back to a race where 1 year prior he suffered a heat stroke.

Meanwhile, KSI along with its corporate partners exhibited their products and services at the AT Expo. A perennial highlight for KSI and its partners, we were able to join together this year for our largest giveaway yet. Athletic trainers who attended all of the booths as a part of our passport program were entered for not only daily prizes but amazing grand prizes. Lucky winners brought home everything from autographed merchandise to Kestrel units to AEDs. If you missed out on this program this year, be sure to check out our booth next year for a chance to win awesome prizes.

Also at the KSI booth was the launching of the NATA and KSI’s Athletic Training Location and Services (ATLAS) project. Robert Huggins, Vice President of Research, presented some of the initial findings of the project to the Secondary School Committee of the NATA followed by the public launch at the AT Expo. Individuals who visited KSI’s booth were able to verify whether or not the services they provide secondary school settings were accurate. This is part of a large database that captures how athletic trainers provide services to secondary schools and identifies school districts that could better protect athletes. If you would like more information about this project, check out the ATLAS database and contribute your information if you are a secondary school athletic trainer.

The NATA annual meeting is arguably the busiest and most productive meeting of KSI’s calendar. As our relationship with NATA and our corporate partners continues to envelop our presence will only magnify and our reach will optimized. If you missed KSI at the meeting this year or would like more information on the Korey Stringer Institute be sure to check us out on FacebookTwitter and explore our website.

NATA “Passport” Campaign

Passport 2015

By Rebecca Sterns, Vice President of Operations and Education

This year’s NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo represents the 5th year that KSI will be an exhibitor. As we continue our presence at the exhibit hall we have worked with our other partners to create an encompassing experience for our supporters in order to package some of the best health & safety information and tools together.

Last year we started what we call the passport campaign, and continuing the program this year we have expanded it to include 5 of our corporate partners.

Through this program, attendees can pick up a “passport” at any of the participating sponsor’s exhibit booths. Each booth you visit you will obtain a stamp on your passport. After you collect all 6 stamps you are eligible for one of the 2 daily prizes and will be entered to win one of the six grand prize drawings at the end of the conference. Below is a list of the participating companies and prizes for this year. Come see us to get your passport there!

Booth #1028     Korey Stringer Institute

Booth #1033     Kestrel Heat Stress Trackers

Booth #1030     Mission AthleteCare

Booth #1026     One Beat CPR & AED

Booth #1607     Gatorade

Booth #1029     Jones & Bartlett Learning


Daily Prizes (Two prizes awarded each day)

MISSION Prize Pack

Sudden Death in Sport & Physical Activity Book by Douglas Casa

One Beat CPR + AED Prize Pack

Kestrel Drop D2 Environmental Data Logger

Gatorade Recover Kit

KSI Fan Pack

Grand Prizes (Selected from all entries)

Reggie Bush Signed Football

Visa Gift Card

Philips HeartStart OnSite AED with a Case and Fast Response Kit

Kestrel 4400 Heat Stress Meter

J.J. Watt Signed Houston Texans Jersey

Serena Williams Signed Tennis Ball


KSI at the Vermont City Marathon & Relay


By Andrea Fortunati, Assistant Director of Elite Athlete Health and Performance

Korea Stringer Institute was represented for the first time at the 27th annual People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay that was held on May 24th, 2015 in Burlington, VT. The race included 8,000 participants and began promptly at 8:00am with the Wheelchair participants, followed by the runners at 8:03am.


Members of the KSI, William Adams, Yuri Hosokawa, Luke Belval, and Andrea Fortunati worked in the main medical tent located at the finish line as well as at medical tents located at the midpoint of the race.



This year, there were approximately 150 medical visits seen throughout the day with a total of six athletes transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Four cases of exertional heat stroke were seen and treated at the marathon. During all of these cases at least one member of KSI was present and aided in the treatment process. One case was treated at the medical tent located at mile 13 and the other three cases were treated in the main medical tent at the finish line. In the critical care tent there were two cold-water immersion tubs and members of KSI ready to implement proper protocols and procedures that have been profoundly researched to treat EHS. Treatment for the cases in the critical care tent where done with cold water immersion, which is found to be the quickest and most effective way to cool the body, and rectal thermometers were used for the body temperatures assessment, which is critical in assessing the body temperature in people who are suffering from exertional heat stroke. Once the athletes had been properly cooled, all EHS cases were transported to the UVMMC following the medical organizer’s protocol for a follow-up examination.

This is the second of several marathons KSI will be involved with this year, the first being at the Boston Marathon. Other road races KSI are attending include the Lake Placid Ironman, the Falmouth Road Race, New Haven Road Race, the Marine Corps Marathon, and more.

This is the second of several marathons KSI will be involved with this year, the first being at the Boston Marathon. Other road races KSI are attending include the Lake Placid Ironman, the Falmouth Road Race, New Haven Road Race, the Marine Corps Marathon, and more.

Medical and Science Advisory Board Meeting

KSI Med Sci Board

By Lesley Vandermark, Director of Research

On the heels of our uber-successful board meeting and fundraiser gala in early May, KSI held our annual Medical and Science Advisory Board meeting on May 26th, in conjunction with the 62nd annual American College of Sports Medicine Symposium in sunny San Diego, CA. KSI staff members and the MSAB members had the opportunity to discuss progress with on-going initiatives like the Mission Heat Safety Pledge, and discuss future initiatives and directions over a nice dinner. This meeting was an important opportunity for our MSAB to meet and talk about potential collaborations with our new Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. John Jardine.

We also updated the MSAB on our on-going and upcoming research projects. KSI will be going to the Falmouth Road Race to provide medical coverage and perform research on thermoregulation and heat illness with the race participants. Additionally over the next 6 months KSI will be doing research in a field that continues to gain importance in athletics, wearable technology. We also discussed our upcoming travel plans and public appearances. Don’t miss a chance to meet the staff and board members, and pickup information, at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association 66th Clinical Symposium in St. Louis, MO at the end of June.

Several corporate and supply partners were also in attendance, showing continued support of our research and education initiatives. Additionally, one of our educational partners, Jones & Bartlett Learning attended to give an update on our progress with the online continuing education course on preventing sudden death in sport. The course should be available this summer, and is a great resource for athletic trainers in need of evidence-based practice (EBP) CEUs due in December.

Database for Catastrophic, Fatal, and Near-fatal Athletic Injuries


By Rebecca Stearns, Vice President of Operations and Education

In the midst of a summer that revealed a consistent rate of sudden deaths in athletes, a new mandate affecting all college athletes from the NCAA was announced. The NCAA revealed that as of August 2014 all member schools are required to report any catastrophic injuries incurred by their student-athletes.

This is in support of a new comprehensive and accurate reporting structure to capture such instances. The need for accurate injury incidence information has come from the crucial role this information plays to guide policies for health and safety in sport.

Previously the NCAA has depended on outside researchers such as the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research database (NCCSIR). The NCAA and the NCCSIR has partnered to enhance this reporting system. The NCCSIR now includes three divisions:

  • The University of North Carolina, which oversees traumatic injuries including head, neck and spine injuries
  • The University of Connecticut, which oversees exertional injuries including heat-related injuries, asthma and sickle cell trait
  • The University of Washington, which oversees cardiac injuries

NCCSIR has provided an online reporting system to expedite and streamline reporting. This system also includes reporting that is available for all organized sport levels (not just collegiate sports). This can be found at: sportinjuryreport.orgWe highly encourage any bystanders or witnesses to report cases of fatal or near-fatal incidences (that have occurred in the last year or that occur in the future) to enhance this database.

The hope with all of these new reporting systems is that such information can help to support health and safety initiatives targeting the causes of sudden death in sport and shed light on new preventative measures that can be taken.

As the NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline recently said in an interview regarding a push to mandate screening athletes at higher risk of cardiac death, “Concussions have overshadowed everything. Why aren’t we talking about death?

We ask that you join the NCAA and the NCCSIR, and help spread the word to report catastrophic injury cases in order to help us push for continued health and safety initiatives that will ultimately save our athlete’s lives.

Pledge your support on social media by using the hashtag #ReportSportInjury

Bishop Lynch High School Athletic Trainer Talks about AEDs

Written by Mike Hopper, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer at Bishop Lynch High School, Dallas, TX

AED Mike Hopper

Bishop Lynch High School is a co-educational Catholic high school that is a member of the Diocese of Dallas and a member of the Texas Association of Parochial and Private Schools (TAPPS). Bishop Lynch is a “Safe Sports School” as recognized by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The availability of AEDs on our campus is just one example of Bishop Lynch providing excellence in Athletic Healthcare.

Recently, the question was asked on Twitter by the Korey Stringer Institute “Are you prepared for sudden cardiac arrest? Where is the closest AED from where you are right now?” I took a quick picture on my phone of the unit that is permanently posted on the wall just inside of my Athletic Training Room. That is only one unit that currently sits within those 4 walls. Regularly, there are 3 units that are maintained within that facility, however currently we have 5 units there. Two of these units will be deployed elsewhere on campus in the coming months. KSI was understandably amazed and curious how we had 5 AEDs on our campus. But, we actually have 11 of these units posted throughout our 22-acre campus. So, then the question was: How did Bishop Lynch manage to have that many units on our campus and how can other schools learn from us?

Twitter AED KSI

Twitter AED Mike

I don’t know the full story, but I will say that we are dedicated to having these units within reach and we are dedicated to having a plan to attack sudden cardiac arrest with immediate response and treatment. When I came to BL in August 2014, we had 7 units on campus. Six of these were posted within athletic facilities. The seventh unit has been moved more than once this school year. BL is in midst of major renovations and that unit has floated multiple times before finding its current place. That location has become its new permanent home as this winter we acquired additional units for elsewhere in the building.

There are currently 9 AEDs deployed on our campus. We have units in our end-zone weight room building that serves the weight room and wrestling room in that building plus the baseball field a short distance away. Conceivably this unit also covers the track and football stadium. The fieldhouse in the corner of the same endzone hosts a unit on the wall providing coverage for the football stadium and track. Outside of the “competition gym” a unit is posted in plain sight that provides coverage for the main gym, the dance studio across the hall, and the weight room upstairs in that same building. Upstairs and a short distance away we have a brand new unit that was recently installed near the business office and two classrooms. Our “Legacy Gym” sits just feet away from the new “competition gym” and hosts a unit of its own posted on the wall outside our satellite Athletic Training Room. As we begin to enter the academic end of campus, we have a unit (previously mentioned) that sits outside of the theater. This is also located close to the main office and the cafeteria. Another brand new unit was deployed recently and is now posted on the wall right outside of the nurse’s office. This gives us 7 units posted in permanent locations.

Two more units are located inside of the Fieldhouse Athletic Training Room and these units are portable. This allows the Athletic Training Staff to transport the AEDs to the sideline or dugout of games. Our softball team currently plays off-campus and we are able to take a unit to their games without jeopardizing the safety (and liability) of our campusWe also take an AED with us whenever we travel with our football teams. With approximately 150 people that make up our travel party for a varsity football game, we believe that carrying this unit is necessary at all times.

I currently have two more units sitting in my office that are brand new and still inside of their boxes along with their cabinets. These units are awaiting the completion of new construction. One unit will be installed in the coming weeks as we prepare to open up a new building with 12 classrooms and the last unit will be installed before the 2015-2016 school year when that phase of renovations is completed.

I know that in our athletic facilities we are less than a minute from an AED at all times. There is not a single place that somebody can’t have an AED in hand instantly. The furthest point from an athletic standpoint from an AED is centerfield on the baseball field to the Haggar Building AED in the endzone. That is approximately 500 feet away. But on a game-day, there is a unit in the home dugout cutting that distance down by about 100-150 feet. Academically, we are currently a little bit further away than that in a couple of locations, however that will change in a couple of weeks. Our new unit will cut down that distance significantly. My biggest concern is in our parking lots, which are at the far ends of our campus. Just the other day I brought up this concern to our security staff and we will be addressing this.

Great, so you have 11 AEDs on campus? But do you have staff to use them?

This is a great question. While the AEDs are simple enough to be used by just about anybodyit is still critical that trained personnel respond to a sudden cardiac event. Accordingly, and as required by TAPPS, our entire coaching staff is required to maintain current CPR/AED certification. Additionally, we have a school nurse on campus each day along with one full-time Certified Athletic Trainer and one part-time Certified Athletic Trainer. Our security staff also is required to maintain CPR/AED certification. So in short, we have staff onsite at all times trained to respond to a cardiac event.

How do you maintain 11 AEDs? Who is in charge of that and who pays for that?

This is another great question. And one that we recently figured out. We have three units that are 4 years old, four units that are 3 years old and four units that are brand new. In the past, the replacement pads were simply purchased out of an account and nobody really thought about it too much. But as you can imagine, with 11 units, this is a costly venture. And so the school nurse and I have asked for a specific answer moving forward. We did not want this to be a year-by-year decision. Basically, each year we will spend the equivalent to what it would cost to purchase a new unit every yearBut it’s a small price to pay and our school administration agrees with thisFor this reason, the nurse’s budget will grow each year to accommodate this specific expense. We share joint responsibility for proposing those needs each year and I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the units. This includes walking past them throughout the week along with testing them once a month. I have made up a spreadsheet with our entire inventory that includes expiration dates and also have a checklist in each case that I check off each month.

11 AEDs, a full staff of trained personnel, emergency action plans for athletics and campus-wide, combined with EMS being located only minutes away and the major trauma center less than 15 minutes away, we believe that Bishop Lynch is well-prepared for a sudden cardiac event on our campus. While we hope to “waste” a lot of money over time, we believe it’s a small price to pay should somebody on our campus collapse.

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer. Every Friar Athlete Has One.


Inaugural Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport Meeting

CSSS 2015
CSSS 2015

By Alicia Pike, Assistant Director of Youth Sport Safety 

On March 26th and 27th, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) in conjunction with the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) and the National Football League (NFL) hosted the very first “Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport” meeting at the NFL Headquarters in New York, NY. This meeting was made possible by the lead sponsors, NATA and AMSSM. Corporate sponsorship was provided by MISSION AthletecareJones & Bartlett LearningPRIVIT, and Camelback, and supported by KSI and NFL organizations.

We know from years of research that many of the deaths that occur in sport are preventable if best practices for prevention and management are in place. Therefore, the goal of this meeting was to bring together the state high school association leaders and sports medicine advisory committee members and the National Federation of State High School Associations to discuss development and implementation of best practice policies for safety in sport. We are excited to have had representation from all 50 states in one room for this meeting, and provided opportunities for key decision-makers to review and enhance safety policies currently in place in their respective states to reduce risk of sudden death in high school sports.

Chris Valletta, co-founder of MISSION Athletecare kicked off the meeting with the keynote. The remainder of this first day involved emphasis on best practices and policy implementation for heat-related illness and cardiac events. Dr. Douglas Casa, Chief Operating Officer of KSI, spoke about the importance of policies including heat acclimatization and wet-bulb globe temperature monitoring that should be in place at every high school, as well as proper recognition (via a rectal thermometer) and treatment (ice water immersion bath) of heat-related illnesses. Regarding cardiac events, Dr. Jonathan Drezner, team physician for the University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks, spoke about the absolute necessity of having AED’s readily available at all high schools and competition/practice locations, as well as the importance of regularly practicing emergency action plans and performing monthly checks of AED batteries and pads to ensure they are ready to use in case of an emergency cardiac situation.

The second day began with a keynote address from Dr. Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer of the NCAA. Following his speech, Ron Courson, Athletic Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Georgia spoke about emergency action plans and when properly implemented, practiced, and executed, can ultimately save the life of an athlete. To close out the meeting, Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, Director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center in UNC Chapel Hill, spoke about head injuries, including concussions, and the policies that should be in place at every school to protect the health and safety of the student-athletes. Guskiewicz brought home the idea that “This is not an injury that can be managed by a clock, calendar, or cookbook.” Head injuries should be treated on an individual basis, and policies need to be implemented to ensure the athlete is not returning to sport before he/she is physically and cognitively ready.

The meeting was an absolute success for being the first time in history that the key people from each state were together in one room for the same initiative. Great questions, comments, success stories, as well as struggles were brought up from those in attendance. We each face challenges regarding policy development and implementation, but this could be achieved more quickly if we collaborate and work together. With this meeting, the NATA, AMSSM, KSI, and NFL hope to have instilled in the attendees the knowledge and materials the attendees need to return to their respective states and make change happen; change that will follow best practices, change that will ensure athletes are getting the absolute best medical care they deserve, and change that can save a life. “A 2 millimeter difference can make a mile change.” Are you prepared? Do more than care. Think. Act. Make a change. Save a life.

For more resources and information that were shared at the meeting, please visit:

KSI Staff at CSSS 2015

Media Alert: Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport




A Call to Action to Ensure Best Practices and Protocols in High Schools Are in Place

Thursday, March 26, 2015

9:30 a.m. eastern time

NFL Headquarters, 345 Park Avenue, New York City 



In 2014, more than 15 high school athletes lost their lives during sports or physical activity. Thousands of student athletes develop acute and long-term injuries as a result of participation. Research shows that many of these deaths and conditions could be avoided if best practices were in place.

Please join the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) for a national press conference where sports medicine leaders will discuss and unveil efforts to promote current health and safety protocols. The goal is to develop a collaborative forum to share resources, tools, best practices and strategies designed to advance the safety of student athletes in secondary schools with a focus on emergency action plans (EAPs).

Speakers will address heat-related illnesses, cardiac conditions, head and neck injuries and the need for EAPS in all high schools. While there have been advances in protocol (all states now have concussion laws in place), only 22 percent of states have met the recommendations that every school or organization sponsoring athletics develop an EAP for managing serious and or potentially life-threatening injuries. An editorial on emergency practice guidelines in high school sports will be published that morning in the April Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication.

For the first time ever, and following the press conference, NATA and AMSSM with the support of the Korey Stringer Institute and the NFL, will bring together key stakeholders in high school athletics to discuss these initiatives and improve safety in youth sports. Leaders from all 50 states will be in attendance at the meeting.

Key statistics:

  • Emergency Action Plans: 12 percent of states meet the recommendations that every school has a written Emergency Action Plan that is distributed to all staff members10 percent of states fulfill the recommendation that the EAP is specific to each venue and includes maps and/or specific directions to that venue.
  • Heat Acclimatization Guidelines: 14 of the 50 states currently meet the minimum best practices with regard to heat acclimatization. An estimated 28 percent of states meet the recommendation that total practice time should not exceed three hours in any one day.
  • Automated External Defibrillators: Only 50 percent of states have met the recommendations that all athletic trainers, coaches, administrators, school nurses and physical education teachers have access to an AED on school property and at all school sanctioned athletic events/activities.



Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FNATA, chief operating officer, Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut: Exertional Heat Stroke

Jason Cates, ATC, LAT, member, Arkansas Activities Association Sports Medicine Advisory Committee; head athletic trainer, Cabot Public Schools; past president, Arkansas Athletic Trainers’ Association: Advancements in Arkansas Youth Sport Safety State Policies and Guidelines

Jonathan Drezner, MD, professor of family medicine; director of the Center for Sports Cardiology; team physician, University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks: Cardiac Conditions

Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATCFNATA, Kenan Distinguished Professor and director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Head and Neck Injuries

Roman Oben, director, youth and high school football, National Football League; former NFL player: Playing it Safe with Best Practices in Place


CONTACT: Media interested in attending should contact Robin Waxenberg by March 24, 212/489-8006,


About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport

Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association represents and supports 39,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit                                                                                                                                                             

About AMSSM: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,700 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Visit