Assessment of Evidence-Based Health and Safety Policies on Sudden Death and Concussion Management in Secondary School Athletics: A Benchmark Study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William M. Adams, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Context: Implementation of best-practice health and safety policies has been shown to be effective at reducing the risk of sudden death in sport; however, little is known about the extent to which these policies are required within secondary school athletics. Objective: To examine best-practice health and safety policies pertaining to the leading causes of sudden death and to concussion management in sport mandated at the state level for secondary school athletics. Design: Descriptive observational study. Setting: State high school athletic associations (SHSAAs), state departments of education, and enacted legislation. Patients or Other Participants: United States (including the District of Columbia) SHSAAs. Main Outcome Measure(s): A review of SHSAA health and safety policies for the 2016–2017 academic year, state department of education policies, and enacted legislation was undertaken to assess the polices related to the leading causes of sudden death and concussion management in sport. Current best-practice recommendations used to assess health and safety policies were specific to emergency action plans, automated external defibrillators, heat acclimatization, environmental monitoring and modification, and concussion management. The total number of best-practice recommendations required for each SHSAA's member schools for the aforementioned areas was quantified and presented as total number and percentage of recommendations required. Results: Four of 51 SHSAA member schools were required to follow best practices for emergency action plans, 7 of 51 for access to automated external defibrillators, 8 of 51 for heat acclimatization, and 3 of 51 for management of concussion. Conclusions: At the time of this study, SHSAA member schools were not required to follow all best-practice recommendations for preventing the leading causes of sudden death and for concussion management in sport. Continued advocacy for the development and implementation of best practices at the state level to be required of all secondary schools is needed to appropriately serve the health and well-being of our young student-athletes.

Additional Information

Journal of Athletic Training. 2018;53(8):756-767
Language: English
Date: 2018
emergency action plan, heat acclimatization, automated external defibrillators, concussion

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