October 1, 2014

County announces new procedures for athlete neck injury response

Johnson County EMS System Medical Director Dr. Ryan Jacobsen announced last week a new trauma protocol for athletes. The new protocol is aimed at improving care for athletes in protective gear with potential neck and back injuries. Jacobsen explained the new protocol while area EMS providers and athletic trainers demonstrated the procedures, during a press conference.
Johnson County’s new procedures relate to athletes in protective gear, such as helmets and pads, with potential spine injuries. Historically, protocol mandated EMS providers in Johnson County transport athletes with their protective gear in place. Under the new protocol, the protective gear will be removed at the scene, before the athlete is moved and transported by EMS. As with any other patient with potential neck and back injuries, excellent spine care will be accomplished utilizing the cervical collar and the ambulance cot.  The new technique is expected to improve patient comfort and enable better care.
“This change will ensure removal of protective equipment by responders and athletic trainers who are familiar with various kinds of equipment and specialized removal tools” Jacobsen said.
The protocol was approved by the Johnson County EMS Physicians Committee of the Johnson/Wyandotte County Medical Society, made up of physicians specializing in Emergency Medicine, Trauma Surgery, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Cardiology and Anesthesia.

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