June 30, 2009

Program Director Quoted in St. Louis Newspaper Regarding Sickle Cell Trait Testing

Message goes out on sickle cell trait
Tuesday, Jun. 30 2009

The NCAA is recommending that all member schools conduct the same screening for sickle cell trait that Missouri recently said it was putting into effect.

The recommendation released Monday was the result of a lawsuit resolved between the NCAA and the family of Dale Lloyd II, a former Rice football player who died in 2006 following a practice. Lloyd carried the sickle cell trait, which was ruled to have contributed to his death.

Missouri announced this month a plan to test its athletes. In 2005, Mizzou football player Aaron O'Neal died of viral meningitis, according to the Boone County medical examiner. However, other experts said sickle cell trait played a role.

Approximately two-thirds of NCAA Division I schools already conduct the test. An estimated one in 12 African-Americans carry the trait, according to the American Sickle Cell Anemia Association.

"This is something that has to be not only on the athletic trainer's radar, but on the administration's and coach's radar,'' said Tony Breitbach, director of the athletic training education program at St. Louis University."We need to educate coaches on the symptoms and that they can kill. We have to allow athletes, without repercussion, to step out of an activity instead of feeling like they have to finish. When someone has been identified and becomes symptomatic, what looks like a lack of conditioning could be the beginning of a process that could cause their death.

''SLU does not routinely test, although an official said athletes are handled on a case-by-case basis. Illinois athletes have been tested for many years.Missouri agreed in March to pay O'Neal's parents $2 million. The family's lawsuit included claims that medical personnel were not familiar with symptoms related to exercise and the sickle cell trait.

The Associated Press reported recently that court depositions revealed medical officials at the voluntary workout where O'Neal died had little knowledge of warnings that signal a problem.
Missouri announced its plan to conduct tests before the NCAA made its recommendation. Tests in Columbia will be done even if someone claims to know of the trait's existence, according to athletic department spokesman Chad Moller."

It was decided collectively by our physicians and head (athletic) trainer that as part of our annual physicals — they're going to make this part of it automatically,'' he said. "Previously, our kids were given an option of being tested. Now it is going to be part of our regular process."
Breitbach said it is likely that all NCAA schools will follow the recommendation because any further deaths related to sickle cell trait "will show negligence on your school's part.''

The National Athletic Trainers Association released a consensus statement regarding sickle cell trait in 2007, noting its role as the third-leading, non-traumatic cause of sports deaths in high school and college athletes.

The organization recommended at the time that colleges test athletes. The statement said that of 13 college football deaths related to the condition, nearly all occurred at schools "that did not screen for sickle cell trait or had a lapse in precautions for it.''

NATA referred to the condition as the least understood of the four most common non-traumatic causes of death.

"It's treated differently than heat stroke,'' Breitbach said. "Sometimes when someone has a sickle cell episode, all they're thinking of is cooling the person. The best treatment is to keep the person hydrated and really watch their symptoms and get them out of activity.

''As part of its resolution with Lloyd's family, the NCAA agreed to donate $50,000 to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and produce an educational video that will be available on the NCAA website and to all schools.

The family of Ereck Plancher has a lawsuit pending against the University of Central Florida following his sickle cell-related death after a football practice in March 2008.

June 21, 2009

Summer Internships Going Well

The SLU Athletic Training Education Program's first students are now out on the summer field experience, internships that take place between their professional years in the program.

Ilene Chambers is affiliated with Kevin Templin ATC at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis. She is getting valuable experience with an athletic trainer who functions as a physician extender with Dr. Mark Miller. She has made several posts on Dr. Miller's blog, read them at: http://www.markmillermd.com/blog.html

Eric Sass is affiliated with Collinsville Physical Therapy & Wellness athletic trainer Katie Chadwick as she serves as the Athletic Trainer for the St. Louis Athletica. He is getting a great experience working with a professional soccer team. Read more about the Athletica at: http://www.womensprosoccer.com/stlouis

Kellie Black is affiliated with Jason Bennett PT, ATC, SCS as he serves as the Head Athletic Trainer for the River City Rage arena football team. She is making the most of this excellent opportunity. To read about the Rage go to: http://www.ragefootball.com/

Heather King is affiliated with Becky Eggers ATC of Athletico as she works at the Athletic Trainer at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, IL. She is getting real experience with the life of a high school athletic trainer. For more info about Athletico go to the Athletico website or also go to the Nazareth Academy website.

June 16, 2009

Hoops R Us

The SLU Athletic Training Education Program once again provided medical care to the participants at the Nike Hoop Jamboree, an invitational camp featuring 100 top basketball student-athletes from all over the country aged 16 and under. In addition to basketball coaching, the players all engaged in leadership training and community service.

It took place at the Simon Recreation Center on the SLU campus and this partnership with Nike provides a great opportunity for our athletic training faculty and students.

June 06, 2009

MoATA Meeting Wraps Up with Great Participation

The 2009 Missouri Athletic Trainers' Association meeting took place on June 5-6th at Saint Louis University. The SLU Athletic Training Education Program and the Doisy College of Health Sciences served at the host for over 140 attendees. No official numbers have been kept for the meetings, but it was thought this was the largest group ever to attend a MoATA Annual Meeting.

On-site registration pushed the attendance to unprecedented numbers.

The Doisy College of Health Sciences atrium provided a great venue for the exhibitors.

Dr. Mark Reinking, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, greeted the group on Saturday.

The lectures took place in the well-equipped auditorium.

The sunny day created a beautiful atmosphere in the Multipurpose Room for the large numbers at the Hall of Fame and Honors Luncheon.

Ten SLU Athletic Training Students took advantage of the student sessions and attended the luncheon.

The labs at SLU created and excellent setting for the hands-on sessions.