Training that Protects Student Athletes Expands

July 21, 2018

Mercy Sports Medicine’s annual athletic trainer drill has proven so effective in protecting student athletes, it’s getting a big expansion this year.

To share those best practices, Mercy is now bringing in dozens of athletic trainers from across its four-state service area for instruction and hands-on training.

athletic-trainer-helmet-3-fb Mercy Sports Medicine athletic trainers practice removing the helmet from an injured football player. The helmet is unscrewed to avoid injuring the patient's spine.

"We've been doing this drill for 27 years now, and we've learned so much about how to prevent complications from injuries," said Jim Raynor, administrative director of Mercy Sports Medicine in the Springfield area. "In the past 15 years, we've only had two student athletes who experienced serious heat-related illness that could've progressed to heat stroke. Because we were on the sidelines and had practiced what to do, we were ready and treated them before their conditions worsened. Our goal is always to recognize the very first symptoms and intervene."

athletic-trainer-airway-fb A Mercy Sports Medicine athletic trainer practices opening an athlete's airway.

Athletic trainers practiced everything from responding to heat exhaustion to head injuries and even cardiac arrest. Sports medicine-trained doctors from Mercy’s orthopedics team were on hand to give information on dealing with broken bones or injured joints. Mercy Emergency Medical Services and the Springfield Fire Department will also practiced their roles in helping an injured student athlete.

This is the 27th year Mercy Sports Medicine has served as the official sports medicine provider for Springfield Public Schools' athletes.

athletic-trainer-helmet-2-fb Mercy Sports Medicine athletic trainers practice how they would carefully remove a football player's gear if that student was injured during a game. The annual drill gets trainers ready at the end of each summer for the high school sports season ahead.

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