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News & Events
Dr. Benet Omalu testifies to promote safe youth sports
SACRAMENTO – May 3, 2016 – The Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media passed Assembly Bill (AB) 2007 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) today, on a vote of 5 to 0. The Concussion Management Youth Sports Act would help protect youth sports participants from injury by requiring the same protocol to be observed as those in place for high school athletes.
“Sports are embedded in our culture and we must ensure that our youth athletes, coaches, and parents are aware of the severity of a concussion,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “This legislation will guarantee that all participants involved in youth sports are aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and take appropriate steps to prevent serious injury.”
“This bill marks an important step forward in closing loopholes in concussion management at the youth sports level,” said Mike Chisar, governmental affairs committee chair for the California Athletic Trainers’ Association. “It’s in line with CATA’s ongoing efforts to protect all athletes and physically active individuals. We’re proud to be the sponsor of this legislation.”
Dr. Bennet Omalu, who testified in support of the bill, expressed his concerns regarding the lack of information that football players receive, “even today you talk to some players who were not told either by fault or default that while you play football, your brain suffers repeated blows, impacts, and such repeated impacts have a risk of permanent brain damage with or without the helmet.”
Dr. Omalu continued, “knowledge is power,” and with this legislation coaches, parents and athletes will receive information to recognize and treat a concussion.
An athlete hits the turf and doesn’t get up. Trainers rush onto the field. The crowd sits in silence. Parents are deeply concerned. Every minute that kid is down on the field feels like an hour.
If you’ve been to a high school athletic event, you likely know the scene. Longtime Rancho Bernardo athletic trainer Robbie Bowers certainly does. At that moment, he becomes the most important man in the stadium. But many might not realize his importance at other moments, too. Read the full article from The San Diego Union Tribune here.
Dr. Ian Armstrong, M.D., medical director of the Southern California Spine Institute, discusses AB-2127 – legislation restricting football practices in an attempt to decrease concussions among student athletes – and the importance of having qualified athletic trainers and physicians on the sidelines to help prevent and recognize concussions among high school football players with KGO San Francisco.
It may be the NFL offseason, but concussions are still top-of-mind. CATA Treasurer Ky Kugler, a professor of athletic training at Chapman University, discusses the severity and frequency of the common head injury with Inside Higher Ed‘s Academic Minute podcast.
CATA President Jason Bennett, DMA, associate professor and director of Chapman University’s Athletic Training Program, talks about the importance of athletic trainers, challenges in high school and youth programs, and licensure, in Chapman’s recent blog post.
Temperatures are skyrocketing and that means hot weather and high humidity – both serious concerns to people of all ages who enjoy spending time outdoors.
The California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) warns that heat illness can affect anyone who overexerts themselves under the sun. The people most at risk include overweight or larger athletes, the elderly and children whose bodies are ill-equipped to handle the heat.
A study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that an estimated 54,983 exertional heat-related injuries (average of 5,500 cases each year) were treated in emergency departments during a 10-year study period. Overall, nearly half of the injuries were sustained by children and adolescents 19 years of age and younger.
“Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is the second most common cause of death among young athletes,” says Michael West, president of the CATA. Fatalities due to heat illness can be as high as 80 percent if immediate treatment is not received. However, with early recognition and immediate cooling, the mortality rate can be reduced to 10 percent.
“There is no reason for anyone to die from heat stroke or suffer from heat-related illness,” West adds. “It’s completely preventable.”
The CATA recommends paying particular attention to athletes since 75 percent of heat-related injuries occur during sports or exercise. And those that require additional padding or helmets, like football, wrestling and even marching band are especially at risk.
The CATA has prepared a list of important tips that people of all ages can follow to enjoy physical activity and also reduce the risk of exertional heat illness during the hot months of summer.
There are three stages of heat-related illness, each with very distinct characteristics. By learning to recognize the symptoms, you can prevent the problem from escalating into a potentially life threatening incident.
Heat Cramps: Characterized by involuntary muscle spasms, profuse sweating, normal pulse and respirations and possible dizziness.
Treatment: Sit in a cool place, massage cramps with ice, stretch and drink water and diluted electrolyte drinks.
Heat Exhaustion: Skin becomes cool and clammy, profuse sweating, dizziness or disorientation, breathing becomes rapid and shallow and pulse is weak.
Treatment: Remove wet clothing and equipment, cool rapidly (ice water on skin or submerge in ice bath), use fan if possible and may need IV fluids.
Heat Stroke: Increased irritability followed by apathy, very disoriented and unsteady, pulse is strong and rapid, skin is hot and dry, blood pressure will drop, convulsions, and possibly coma.
Treatment: Activate 911 response immediately – this is a medical emergency and can lead to death. Cool rapidly with ice or submerge in ice bath, treat for shock, and transfer to trauma center as soon as possible.
All three types of heat-related illness should be treated without delay because progression from one stage to the next can happen suddenly and without warning.
To avoid heat related illness:
- Stay properly hydrated with water and diluted electrolyte drinks. When the body becomes dehydrated it loses its ability to properly cool itself.
- Make sure you acclimatize to your environment; you are more likely to suffer from heat-related illness when you exercise outdoors in the heat than if you spend all day indoors in a controlled environment.
- Remember to rehydrate after daily exercise; track your weight before and after exercise so you know how much water you need to replace (8 oz. of water for every pound of body weight lost).
- Wear loose comfortable clothing; synthetics are best for wicking water from the skin.
- If you have a pre-existing health problem, consult your doctor before jumping into outdoor activities.
About the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA):
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the provision of physical medicine and rehabilitation services, serving as physician extenders in the prevention, assessment and treatment of acute and chronic injuries and illnesses. The California Athletic Trainers’ Association represents and supports 2,200 members of the athletic training profession through communication and education.
CATA is fighting to pass legislation that will recognize the proper definition and scope of practice for the profession in California, the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t require regulation for athletic trainers. For more information, visit http://ca-at.org/.
Leadership Development Conference and Clinical Symposium
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 22-23, 2014
Hit-the-Hill, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
Double Tree Hotel, Sacramento, CA
Program at a glance:
Students and young professionals: What to expect in the first years in the profession.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium
Highlights include: Evidence-based practice, special topics and learning labs
Monday, February 24, 2014
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Annual Hit the Hill event
It may only be August, but we are already feverishly preparing for the CATA State Symposium and Hit the Hill day on February 22–24, 2014 (Saturday-Sunday: Educational Symposium; Monday: Meet with the Legislators).
This year we will be back in Sacramento at our favorite venue, The Double Tree Hotel. If you or a quality presenter you know is interested in being on our speakers panel, please click here to find our official call for proposals. The deadline for submissions is October 1st, 2013.
Start making plans for Sacramento! It should be our biggest event yet!
Unfortunately, AB 864 has been put on suspense by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. We do not know a specific reason why, but we believe the bill will remain on suspension for the rest of the year. The CATA governmental affairs committee is strategizing on next steps.
We want to thank all those who wrote letters, spoke or met with legislators, and/or came to Sacramento to testify at our first hearing. Your voices were heard at the time and will need to be heard again in the not too distant future. Keep the faith as we work to gain state regulation soon.
Bill Prevents Unqualified Individuals from Practicing a Health Care Profession
SAN DIEGO – April 24, 2013 – In California, anyone can call him/herself an athletic trainer – no education or certification required – giving consumers, athletes and administrators a false sense of safety.
The California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) along with Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), wants California to do what 48 other states already do – regulate the athletic training profession.
Passed with an affirmative 11 votes by the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection (BPCP) yesterday and headed to the Appropriations Committee, AB 864, otherwise known as the “Athletic Training Practice Act,” is a cost-neutral bill that would regulate athletic trainers and prohibit any person without the proper credentials from engaging in the practice of athletic training.
“Athletic trainers save lives – it’s as simple as that,” said Mike West, president of the CATA. “But until the state acknowledges the important role we play, young athletes and others may continue to be at risk. They could be under the supervision of someone who may not be qualified to recognize or respond to a life-threatening injury or illness – and not even know it.”
Athletic trainers are uniquely qualified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists who work at schools, hospitals, military facilities, clinics, corporations and more. They provide acute injury treatment, a continuum of care from injury and illness prevention and return-to-activity clearance for athletes and other physically active individuals.
Despite the vital role athletic trainers play in our safety, the lack of regulation creates a great risk that people who have lost or are unable to obtain licensure in other states will come to California to practice, putting the public in danger and degrading the standards of the profession as a whole.
Nowhere else is this more crucial than at the secondary school levels. As kids begin to specialize in a particular sport there has been a growing incidence of serious injuries and complications resulting from overuse and intensive over-training.
Recent studies show a significant increase in catastrophic injuries that have resulted in death or
permanent disability of youth athletes. From 2008 to 2011, at least 40 California students have died due to sports-related injuries – many of whom might have been saved if there had been a qualified athletic trainer on-site.
Dr. Cindy Chang, immediate past president for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and co-chair, California Concussion Coalition, Northern Chapter, said, “There is no question that this bill would help protect our young student athletes by ensuring that those providing medical care to these children, after they have suffered sports related trauma such as concussions, are properly trained and educated.” Chang also served as the head team physician, UC Berkeley from 1995 to 2008 and Chief Medical Officer for the 2012 US Olympic Team.
The bill is designed to be cost-neutral (meaning no cost would be passed onto taxpayers), with all fees associated with applications and renewals covering the costs of maintaining the bill. Essentially, athletic trainers will be paying for their own licensure.
AB 864 would directly impact the safety of athletes and consumers by mandating specific requirements for licensure:
- Must have completed athletic trainer certification eligibility requirements from an athletic training education program at a four-year college or university approved by the Athletic Training Licensing Committee
- Must pass a comprehensive nationally accredited certification exam approved by the Athletic Training Licensing Committee
- Must possess an emergency cardiac care certification
- Pay application fees established by the Athletic Training Licensing Committee
The bill would also specify that a license expires in two years and is subject to renewal upon payment of a renewal fee and the completion of continuing education hours in order to keep athletic trainers’ knowledge and skills current.
About the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA):
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the provision of physical medicine and rehabilitation services, serving as physician extenders in the prevention, assessment and treatment of acute and chronic injuries and illnesses. The California Athletic Trainers’ Association (http://www.ca-at.org) represents and supports 2,200 members of the athletic training profession through communication and education.