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J Athl Train. 1993 Fall; 28(3): 206-207, 210, 212.
PMCID: PMC1317714

Management Of The Critically Injured Football Player

Francis Feld, MEd, ATC, NREMT-P


Evaluation and treatment of a football player who has sustained life-threatening injuries is a rare but significant challenge for the sports medicine team. Early recognition and intervention in these injuries is crucial. Helmets and shoulder pads complicate management of these patients. In this article, I present a rapid and simple assessment method used by paramedics for trauma patients. Treatment focuses on when football equipment should be removed and how the equipment complicates Advanced Life Support measures. A strong, working relationship with Emergency Medical Services is encouraged.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bailes JE, Maroon JC. Management of cervical spine injuries in athletes. Clin Sports Med. 1989 Jan;8(1):43–58. [PubMed]
  • Cummins RO, Eisenberg MS, Litwin PE, Graves JR, Hearne TR, Hallstrom AP. Automatic external defibrillators used by emergency medical technicians. A controlled clinical trial. JAMA. 1987 Mar 27;257(12):1605–1610. [PubMed]
  • Karbi OA, Caspari DA, Tator CH. Extrication, immobilization and radiologic investigation of patients with cervical spine injuries. CMAJ. 1988 Oct 1;139(7):617–621. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Moore JE, Eisenberg MS, Cummins RO, Hallstrom A, Litwin P, Carter W. Lay person use of automatic external defibrillation. Ann Emerg Med. 1987 Jun;16(6):669–672. [PubMed]
  • Putman LA. Alternative methods for football helmet face mask removal. J Athl Train. 1992;27(2):170–172. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association