University of Georgia Athletics

By John Frierson
Employees Writer

A unique sort of practice was taking place inside the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility on Thursday. Rather of football players operating routes or functioning on their blocking method, paramedics had been education to get improved at dealing with sports-connected emergency health-related circumstances.

An all-day occasion place on by UGA Sports Medicine and the Regional Trauma Advisory Committee of the Georgia Trauma Commission, the 2023 RTAC Sports Medicine Conference featured 165 attendees and ten unique speakers. Front and center all through, from delivering the opening remarks to speaking on subjects as wide-ranging as treating heatstroke and the management of spine injuries, was Ron Courson, Executive Associate Athletic Director and Georgia’s Director of Sports Medicine.

Courson stated Area ten of the RTAC asked him and longtime emergency health-related technician (EMT) Glenn Henry, the former emergency health-related solutions (EMS) plan chair at Athens Technical College, to place with each other a education plan for paramedics.

“A lot of EMTs and paramedics cover Friday evening football games, and they have excellent education in emergency medicine, but in some cases they do not have as considerably experience in sports medicine,” Courson stated. 

Along with lectures from quite a few physicians, athletic trainers and other health-related experts, the course incorporated on-field labs throughout which the attendees could get hands-on education in dealing with precise sports injuries and emergency circumstances.

Courson, who is also an EMT and has had to deal with all manner of injured athletes in his profession, such as these with neck and spinal injuries, stated that it is crucial that paramedics know how to very best to help athletes with potentially significant injuries, especially in football.

“Paramedics and EMTs could have excellent experience in trauma circumstances and spine-boarding (placing the injured on back boards), but they could not have that considerably education in how to take football shoulder pads off. Or how take a helmet off in a spine emergency,” he stated. “Not all helmets are the very same, and not all pads are the very same, so you have to know the unique gear and know the unique nuances of how to take it off safely.”

A further element to the education involved dealing with these suffering from heatstroke, a thing that comes up across the nation every single summer season, especially throughout preseason practices at all levels of football.

“Heatstroke is a unique issue. With EMS, you ordinarily want to get them to the hospital as speedy as you can. But heatstroke is a unique issue, exactly where you want to cool the individual and then transport them,” Courson stated. “That is the good issue about the lab, you can have the lecture but then you can also demonstrate the very best way to do issues.”

A essential element to paramedics and EMTs functioning with sports medicine employees and athletic trainers in emergency circumstances, Courson stated, is communication. 

“I’ve been an EMT for 35 years, so it is much easier for me to speak to an EMT simply because I am a single and I know their language,” he stated. “The a lot more I can cross-train my employees, and my purpose is to have all of my employees be athletic trainers and emergency health-related technicians the a lot more we can cross-train there, it tends to make us improved, but it also assists with the details exchange.”

Ten years ago, Courson and his employees began what they referred to as “the health-related timeout” — it is a practice that has been picked up across the nation, he stated, and in the NFL. Prior to just about every competitors in just about every sport, Georgia’s sports medicine employees get with each other with the health-related employees for the opposing group, along with the paramedics functioning the game, to have a ten-minute meeting to talk about every single person’s part and exactly where they will be situated, exactly where the gear is situated, and the place of the nearest hospital.

“Sports medicine teams are just like a (sports) group, you have to practice,” Courson stated. “Everyone has a part. And the a lot more you get athletic trainers and EMTs and paramedics and nurses with each other to speak about roles and responsibilities, it in the end assists the sufferers.”

Assistant Sports Communications Director John Frierson is the employees writer for the UGA Athletic Association and curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame. You can come across his perform at: Frierson Files. He’s also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.

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