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Information regarding the incidence or complica- tions of sickle cell disorders in athletes has not been well reported in the literature. In this study we identify the amount of exposure that athletic trainers have to athletes with sickle cell disorders at historically black colleges and universities and describe the precautions, screening procedures, and treatment techniques used to identify and manage this population.
A 12-question survey was mailed to head athletic trainers asking about their exposure to athletes with sickle cell disorders.
Athletic trainers at 94 historically black colleges and universities.
Descriptive data were compiled as frequen- cies and reported as a percentage of the total responses (n = 34). The data were also grouped by NCAA division or as non-NCAA member institutions.
Of the 94 surveys, 34 (36%) were returned. Respondents reported that 4.9% of their athletes had the genetic trait, yet only 12% of the schools required screening for the trait during their athletic preparticipation examinations. Three of the schools (9%) reported a total of 10 incidents of athletes having sickle cell crises at their facilities.
We suggest that there is a likelihood for athletic trainers to encounter athletes with sickle cell disorders. Further education regarding sickle cell disorders may be needed.