Consensus Recommendations on the Prehospital Care of the Injured Athlete With a Suspected Catastrophic Cervical Spine Injury

Mills BM, Conrick KM, Anderson S, Bailes J, Boden BP, Conway D, Ellis J, Feld F, Grant M, Hainline B, Henry G, Herring SA, Hsu WK, Isakov A, Lindley TR, McNamara L, Mihalik JP, Neal TL, Putukian M, Rivara FP, Sills AK, Swartz EE, Vavilala MS, Courson R. J Athl Train. 2020 Jun 23;55(6):563-572. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-0434.19. PMID: 32579668; PMCID: PMC7319738.

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A consensus-driven approach with a systematic review was used to develop a set of best-practice recommendations for athletic trainers and others engaged in caring for athletes with suspected cervical spine injury (CSI). The main conclusions and recommendations are summarized in a table. “A companion article provides more specific information on current best practices for each stage of on-field assessment, emergency care, and transfer of an athlete with a suspected CSI, including emergency action planning, medical time outs, and prehospital versus hospital equipment removal. This article, in contrast, is intended to give readers a more thorough understanding of the underlying issues and questions that should be addressed and the available evidence, even as the specific approaches and practices will vary on the basis of sport, age, level of play, equipment condition, and other varying characteristics of facilities where athletes are at risk of CSIs.”

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