NYS Athletic Trainers’ Association Emphasizes Importance of Considering Vascular Conditions in Athletes Following Recent Published Case out of New York State

July 31, 2013

With the latest published case out of New York State of a student-athlete developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a dangerous condition in which a blood clot forms in one or more veins deep in the body, the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA), emphasizes the magnitude of having a medical professional, such as a certified athletic trainer (AT), on-hand for athletic events who is well-educated and skilled in recognizing these potentially fatal vascular conditions.

St. Bonaventure, NY (PRWEB) July 31, 2013

Certified athletic trainers (ATs), the premier providers of sports healthcare, are experts in the recognition, assessment, and rehabilitation of sport-related injuries, illnesses, and conditions, including those that become life-threatening. In addition to what are considered typical sport injuries – strains, sprains, fractures, contusions – ATs have the educational background and clinical expertise to also recognize and assess vascular issues that can arise, whether as the primary medical concern or in conjunction with another injury. NYSATA emphasizes the importance taking such conditions into account, as detailed in the case study, “Upper Extremity Deep Vein Thrombosis in a Collegiate Baseball Player” (Gottschalk and Hobler) published in the current volume of the International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training (IJATT, 18(4), July 2013).

Though DVT is a serious and even potentially fatal condition, it can be challenging to recognize as it often mimics other, more typical sports-related injuries, like strains, sprains, or contusions. The symptoms, such as swelling and discoloration can be mild or gradual, if present at all. But vascular conditions like DVT can have much more dire consequences than the typical sports-injuries if not properly managed. One of the more common complications of DVT is a pulmonary embolism (PE), in which the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs blocking blood flow. PE can cause significant damage to the lungs and, in severe cases, can even be fatal.    

Chris Hobler, ATC, RSA-O, OPA-C, Head Athletic Trainer at St. Bonaventure University and co-author of the IJATT case study states, “One of the angles that I think is important with this case, is that athletes present often with swelling after an injury, but this reminds us that not all swelling is due to inflammation from stretched tissue or contusion. Sometimes, it is from more serious medical issues, such as thromboses.”

Besides a family or personal history of vascular disorders, risk factors for DVT most applicable to the athletic population include acute injury or surgery, lengthy sitting during travel, extremes in height or weight, and history of medications, specifically estrogen-based contraception.    

NYSATA president Deanna Errico, PT, DPT, ATC states, “Another important aspect to consider is the potential of female athletes who could be taking oral contraceptives and, for one reason or another, not reporting it as part of their medical history paperwork – or the athletic program lacks appropriate oversight by a regular, qualified medical professional, like an athletic trainer, and this risk factor is missed. Their risk of DVT, and therefore pulmonary embolism, is much higher – even if they are otherwise healthy, well-conditioned individuals.”

Hobler, who is also the Past-President of NYSATA, adds, “It is rare that well-conditioned athletes develop DVT, but as the healthcare professionals that athletes often rely on, it is important that ATs are there to properly and thoroughly evaluate and assess. Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals that not only know how to recognize sprains and strains, but also vascular conditions, like DVT, and manage them efficiently, including appropriate referral when needed.”

Various healthcare organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shown public support for over a decade of athletic trainers as essential healthcare providers. But a vast majority of the public, including school administrators and parents of athletes, still do not have a grasp on the unique expertise of ATs the vital role they can play in the healthcare of the physically active. Statistics support this, as only about 42% of high schools nationwide have access to an AT, and this number is even lower in New York State.

NYSATA, founded in 1976 and incorporated in 1989, stands to advance, encourage and improve the profession of athletic training by developing the common interests of its membership for the purpose of enhancing the quality of healthcare for the physically active in New York State. Comprised of over 1,200 certified and practicing athletic trainers, NYSATA is the state-wide affiliate of the regional Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) and District Two of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10982719.htm

Source: prweb

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