TitleSports-Related Emergency Preparedness in Oregon High Schools.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsJohnson, S, Norcross, MF, Bovbjerg, VE, Hoffman, M, Chang, E, Koester, MC
JournalSports Health
Date Published2017 Jan 01

BACKGROUND: Best practice recommendations for sports-related emergency preparation include implementation of venue-specific emergency action plans (EAPs), access to early defibrillation, and first responders-specifically coaches-trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator (AED) use. The objective was to determine whether high schools had implemented these 3 recommendations and whether schools with a certified athletic trainer (AT) were more likely to have done so.

HYPOTHESIS: Schools with an AT were more likely to have implemented the recommendations.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.


METHODS: All Oregon School Activities Association member school athletic directors were invited to complete a survey on sports-related emergency preparedness and AT availability at their school. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to analyze the associations between emergency preparedness and AT availability.

RESULTS: In total, 108 respondents (37% response rate) completed the survey. Exactly half reported having an AT available. Only 11% (95% CI, 6%-19%) of the schools had implemented all 3 recommendations, 29% (95% CI, 21%-39%) had implemented 2, 32% (95% CI, 24%-42%) had implemented 1, and 27% (95% CI, 19%-36%) had not implemented any of the recommendations. AT availability was associated with implementation of the recommendations (χ(2) = 10.3, P = 0.02), and the proportion of schools with ATs increased with the number of recommendations implemented (χ(2) = 9.3, P < 0.01). Schools with an AT were more likely to implement venue-specific EAPs (52% vs 24%, P < 0.01) and have an AED available for early defibrillation (69% vs 44%, P = 0.02) but not more likely to require coach training (33% vs 28%, P = 0.68).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite best practice recommendations, most schools were inadequately prepared for sports-related emergencies. Schools with an AT were more likely to implement some, but not all, of the recommendations. Policy changes may be needed to improve implementation.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Most Oregon high schools need to do more to prepare for sports-related emergencies. The results provide evidence for sports medicine professionals and administrators to inform policy changes that ensure the safety of athletes.

Alternate JournalSports Health
PubMed ID28129072