Brad Endres, ATC, CSCS
Assistant Director of Sports Safety Policies
The prevention of sudden death in sports begins well before a catastrophic injury occurs.
It may be true that heroes are made in how they respond when they are needed most. Many stories throughout the country give testament to the life-saving nature of an appropriate and timely response to medical emergencies in sport. While these stories are indeed uplifting, they are often the result of a great amount of effort dedicated to being prepared in the event of an emergency. During their 2017 Sports Medicine Conference, the Sports Medicine team at CoxHealth exemplified the old adage that “practice makes perfect”, and it was truly a sight to behold. This team, led by Dr. Shannon Woods, was a shining example of how to collaborate with multiple health care providers in order to create, implement, and practice “best-practice” policies and procedures intended to promote athlete safety. KSI was invited to travel to Springfield, MO to take part in the Conference, and it was inspiring to witness the rubber meet the road in regards to the practical application of research.
Throughout the two days of the conference, KSI staff led evidence-based educational sessions on exertional heat illnesses. KSI Vice-President of Communication and Education Dr. Yuri Hosokawa started off the conference on Friday morning with an evidence-based presentation about the prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses. After the presentation, she led the participants through a practical lab session on the “best-practices” of responding to an individual suffering from exertional heat stroke (EHS). The participants attending the Friday session of the conference included athletic trainers, coaches, sports medicine physicians, EMS personnel, and school administrators from local area high schools, given that these practical skills would be vital for treating one of their athletes in the event they developed EHS while participating in sports. On Friday afternoon, CoxHealth staff led mock emergency scenarios where participants were able to gain hands-on practice of what they had learned in the morning. The participants took the scenarios seriously, which led to great discussions during the scenario debriefings. Additionally, the local Springfield news station recorded a news segment about the Conference in order to spread the word about emergency preparedness and athlete safety.
On the final day of the conference, the participants included physical therapists, physicians from other specialties, parents of young athletes, and other interested members of the community. Yuri and I geared our presentations to a slightly different audience, but the message was largely the same: evidence-based policies and procedures can indeed save lives.
Yuri and I were thankful to be invited to the 2017 CoxHealth Sports Medicine Conference, and proud to represent KSI at such an impressive collaborative event. Being in compliance with “best practice” emergency response policies is not always the easiest thing to do, but networks like CoxHealth Sports Medicine are proving that it can be done. Because of their efforts, the athletes they serve will undoubtedly be safe and well cared for.