Evaluating the Injured Athlete on the Field
The need for consistent on-field assessment is crucial for the multidisciplinary health care team when evaluating an injured athlete. This article is designed to "give on-field health care providers a fast, efficient way to conduct a field history and evaluation of an injured athlete." The article leads the reader through various evaluation steps, including:
*Step 1: assessment of airway, breathing circulation;
*Step 2: on-field history;
*Step 3: on-field inspection;
*Step 4: palpation;
*Step 5: range of motion/movement.
Included in the text is an on-field clinical flash card to be used by health care providers as a pocket reference tool.
Conclusion: Having consistent on-the-field assessment measures decreases the chance of making an incorrect evaluation and delaying appropriate treatment.
This consistency is also vital when communicating to other health care providers, including emergency room personnel, orthopedists, neurologists, athletic trainers and physical therapists. The authors note that "after establishing the context of the injury, return to play criteria can now be established."
Wakefield TS, Nesbitt J, Breidenbach B. On the field extremity injury assessment. Journal of Sports Chiropractic and Rehabilitation