• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

University of Georgia Athletics


May 26, 2023

By John Frierson
Employees Writer

A distinct type of practice was taking place inside the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility on Thursday. Rather of football players operating routes or operating on their blocking strategy, paramedics had been education to get much better at dealing with sports-connected emergency healthcare 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 distinct 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 healthcare technician (EMT) Glenn Henry, the former emergency healthcare solutions (EMS) system chair at Athens Technical College, to place with each other a education system for paramedics.

“A lot of EMTs and paramedics cover Friday evening football games, and they have fantastic education in emergency medicine, but at times they do not have as substantially experience in sports medicine,” Courson stated. 

Along with lectures from quite a few physicians, athletic trainers and other healthcare experts, the course incorporated on-field labs in the course of which the attendees could get hands-on education in dealing with distinct 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, which includes these with neck and spinal injuries, stated that it really is crucial that paramedics know how to very best to help athletes with potentially main injuries, especially in football.

“Paramedics and EMTs could have fantastic experience in trauma circumstances and spine-boarding (placing the injured on back boards), but they could not have that substantially 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 distinct gear and know the distinct nuances of how to take it off safely.”

An additional element to the education involved dealing with these suffering from heatstroke, one thing that comes up across the nation each and every summer time, especially in the course of preseason practices at all levels of football.

“Heatstroke is a distinct issue. With EMS, you ordinarily want to get them to the hospital as fast as you can. But heatstroke is a distinct issue, exactly where you want to cool the particular person 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 items.”

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

“I’ve been an EMT for 35 years, so it really is a lot easier for me to speak to an EMT mainly because I am a single and I know their language,” he stated. “The extra I can cross-train my employees, and my purpose is to have all of my employees be athletic trainers and emergency healthcare technicians the extra we can cross-train there, it tends to make us much better, but it also aids with the information and facts exchange.”

Ten years ago, Courson and his employees began what they known as “the healthcare timeout” — it really is a practice that has been picked up across the nation, he stated, and in the NFL. Prior to each and every competitors in each and every sport, Georgia’s sports medicine employees get with each other with the healthcare employees for the opposing group, along with the paramedics operating the game, to have a ten-minute meeting to go over each and every person’s function and exactly where they will be positioned, exactly where the gear is positioned, 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 function. And the extra you get athletic trainers and EMTs and paramedics and nurses with each other to speak about roles and responsibilities, it in the end aids 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 operate at: Frierson Files. He’s also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.

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