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Out there in the real world, one athletic training student experienced the following while being supervised by a certified athletic trainer:

During my senior year of college I was responsible for the volleyball team. During one of the matches, an opposing player began to bleed on the court. Although this wasn't a life-threatening emergency, it was still a good life lesson because I was not prepared for the situation. I had not obtained gauze and gloves to keep in my pockets prior to the game; therefore, I was in a panic trying to get the necessary items to deal with the player's injury. Once I was given permission from the referee to enter onto the court, I began to care for the athlete. I applied a gauze pad to the cut and applied pressure. I then had to observe the playing surface and her clothing for blood. All spots on the floor were cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, and the athlete had to change jerseys.

This situation taught me to always be prepared for an emergency. Gauze and gloves should be readily available at all times. Also, you should always make sure that emergency situations are discussed before the game along with your emergency action plan so that everyone working the game knows his or her specific role if something were to happen.

Mikaela Pope

Athletic training student

Wilmington College


learning outcomes

After working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the components of an appropriate medical history.

  2. Identify vital signs, as well as the process of monitoring these vital signs and identifying abnormal indicators.

  3. Explain the warning signs of emergency medical conditions and appropriate treatments.

  4. Explain the procedures for management of spinal and head injuries and injuries requiring first aid.


In the profession of athletic training, emergency response skills are crucial for your job responsibilities. Throughout this section, you will be presented with signs and symptoms of safety and prevention scenarios to help fine-tune your assessment skills. Beyond performing special tests and observing visual characteristics of the injured area, you need to determine quickly whether an injury is a medical emergency or is severe enough to prevent the athlete from returning to play or affect the athlete's activities of daily living. By implementing all the information obtained in the classroom about safety and prevention and then applying it by looking at the big picture in terms of what is going on with the athlete, you can quickly assess the situation, the injury, and the effective treatment to create the best possible outcome for the athlete.


David Breymeir is a senior collegiate football player and is currently in the second week ...

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