At NATA's 64th annual meeting & clinical symposia in Las Vegas Tuesday, healthcare professionals pre-released the task force recommendations designed to provide secondary school administrators, physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, athletes and others with best practices for preventing sudden deaths.
The secondary school athletic population -- comprising of more than 7 million athletes -- leads the nation in athletic deaths with cardiac conditions, heat stroke and head injuries. Each of these causes, as well as exertional sickling -- a medical emergency occurring in athletes carrying the sickle cell trait -- is specifically addressed in the statement.
The task force was spearheaded by NATA in collaboration with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and numerous other groups.
"Most deaths are preventable through proper recognition and emergency protocols," Douglas J. Casa, task force chairman of the University of Connecticut and chief operating officer of the Korey Stringer Institute, said in a statement.
"These best practice recommendations serve as a roadmap for policy consideration regarding the safety of secondary school athletes. We have addressed today the leading causes of sudden death in this age group. With continued education, research and advocacy, we can continue to reduce the number of fatalities and keep young athletes safe while playing the sports they love."
The statement is at www.nata.org/sites/default/files/preventing-sudden-death.pdf.