Summary of the National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement on the acute management of the cervical spine-injured athlete.
The incidence of catastrophic cervical spine injury in sports is low compared with other injuries. However, cervical spine injuries necessitate delicate and precise management, often involving the combined efforts of a variety of health care providers. The outcome of a catastrophic cervical spine injury depends on the efficiency of this management process and timeliness of transfer to a controlled environment for diagnosis and treatment. The objective of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) position statement on the acute care of the cervical spine-injured athlete is to provide the certified athletic trainer, team physician, emergency responder, and other health care professionals with recommendations on how to best manage a catastrophic cervical spine injury in an athlete. Recommendations are based on current evidence pertaining to prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of cervical spine injuries in sport; emergency planning and preparation to increase management efficiency; maintaining or creating neutral alignment in the cervical spine; accessing and maintaining the airway; stabilizing and transferring the athlete with a suspected cervical spine injury; managing the athlete participating in an equipment-laden sport such as football, hockey, or lacrosse; and imaging considerations in the emergency department.
Published In/Presented At
Swartz EE, Decoster LC, Norkus SA, Boden BP, Waninger KN, Courson RW, Horodyski M, Rehberg RS; National Athletic Trainers' Association. Summary of the National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement on the acute management of the cervical spine-injured athlete. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Dec;37(4):20-30. doi: 10.3810/psm.2009.12.1738.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine