NFL Report

February 20, 2018

Just before the season ended, the NFL offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the medical setup for games. With athletic trainers, neurotrauma physicians, and data technicians, there are a range of professionals included for the procedures with about 30 medical staffers on the sidelines.

As outlined in an article from The Virginian-Pilot, part of the process is a pre-game meeting. During that hour-long meeting, everyone involved with the medical procedures is in attendance. This is partly so everyone can work together without any glitches during the game.

“The collaborative effort between teams is where it should be… seamless and flawless,” Eric Sugarman, MS, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer for the Minnesota Vikings.

Part of the meeting is dedicated to the Emergency Action Plan. Along with descriptions of what to do in almost any emergency situation, hand or arm signals are included for smooth communication when action is needed.

Each stadium has a “quiet room” that is designated for concussion-related examinations. The unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants and a member of the team’s medical staff are in that room for the exams that typically take 10 to 12 minutes. Otherwise, no one is allowed into the exam areas.

Although the NFL has been criticized about its concussion protocol, Allen Sills, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the NFL, disagrees. “I like to say it wasn’t written on the back of an envelope on an elevator ride one day,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of planning, of study, of preparation, of gathering expert opinion. And frankly, I find it very offensive when people say, ‘Gosh, the concussion protocol is a joke.’ Because it is a very rare scientific document. No protocol is perfect. No protocol accounts for every single medical scenario, and that’s why we have to continue to make it better. But we are incredibly dedicated to the task of making it as good as it can be.”

Local athletic trainers are hired as concussion spotters, working with video technicians who tag plays that end up with injuries. The athletic trainers’ are stationed in a booth, with the task of keeping an eye out for head injuries. If one occurs, they can call for a medical timeout and a sideline monitor can play the video for the medical staff to see what happened.

“People like me might have looked at it with a crooked eye,” Sugarman said. “Big Brother looking over your shoulder. But it’s been invaluable. You can’t see everything. It’s very protective to know they’re looking out for you.”

Along with the game-day spotters, the NFL has worked to train the medical staff on concussion and head trauma. The league hosted a training session last summer that was dedicated to that topic.

Image by Pats1
SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

Vicis Zero1 earns highest ranking in NFL and NFLPA testing

For the second year in a row, the Vicis Zero1 helmet has earned the recognition of being the top-rated helmet of both the National Football League and the NFL Players Association. The results of  their annual Helmet Laboratory Testing Performance Results were announced recently. In its annual testing process, the NFL and NFLPA examine the performance … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Olympian Strength Aquatic Training & Rehabilitation

Coaches and athletic trainers can now help their athletes rehabilitate and build muscle faster with the AquaFit from Hudson Aquatic Systems. When using the AquaFit, athletes will receive the benefits of exercising in water, lowering impact and increasing outcomes in half the time of land based workouts. The stabilizing and buoyant effects of water also … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Expand Your Weight Room

Strength and sport coaches can now expand the versatility of their weight room with the Club KettleBlock Handle from PowerBlock. Founded in 1991 by specialty fitness equipment designers, coaches can be certain that PowerBlock products are made specifically with those in the fitness industry in mind. Coaches can simply replace the dumbbell handle on their … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Elevate Your Game

As athletic budgets decrease, programs are looking for new ways to give their teams the best equipment possible without breaking the bank. Athletic directors can now offer multiple teams the same quality scoring experience with the Basketball/Volleyball/Wrestling Scoreboard & Timer from Eversan, Inc. With an 180-degree viewing angle provided by an innovative design, fans, athletes, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Pure Hydration

In the heat of competition, the last thing that coaches and athletic trainers should be worried about is whether their athletes are properly hydrated. With the Vertical Power System from Waterboy Sports, there is no more need for this concern. Players always have fluid at their fingertips, as this system has a 23-gallon water tank … CLICK TO READ MORE...

VIEW MORE ARTICLES

Stay at the Top of Your Game!
x
Receive articles like this by signing up for our newsletters