January 28, 2023
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PCOM students training to handle sports-related medical emergencies

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MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) -Sports injuries can happen on and off the field but rarely present life-or-death scenarios.

PCOM South Georgia’s physicians have seen a number of medical emergencies relating to sports.

Whether you are playing football, basketball, or any sport, you are taking a risk. Health experts said a defibrillator can save
a person’s life.

One cardiologist at PCOM South Georgia said a lot of the injuries they may see are related to heart conditions and physical pain in certain parts of the body.

“When they come here, normally some of those patients might have a contusion. Contusion, which is a different type of injury you can have. A contusion is basically where you have trauma to the chest wall area, and it normally doesn’t affect the electrical system, but mostly physical,” said Lawrence Ukpong, a cardiologist at PCOM South Georgia.

Trent Griner is a medical student in sports medicine. He’s able to get a close-up of what to do in case of an emergency. Some of those skills include CPR, learning how to use a defibrillator and keeping them calm.

“Really as a student, a lot of the education that I get from the physicians that I’m working with on the sidelines is about learning the logistics. Because having the logistics and a plan is what results in a good outcome for the athletes,” Griner said.

Sports injuries are usually tied to strenuous activity. However, there are ways to treat it.

One of the main reasons people might suffer from an injury impacted by some form of trauma is lack of hydration. It’s important to know the warning signs if this happens.

“A lot of what I learn on the side is the medicine, of course, learning how to treat of variety of injuries that I’ve seen whether that is concussions, broken bones, the more common things you see. But that is a big part of the education we get is talking about how to communicate with EMS when you get on scene to whatever the venue is,” Griner said.

Griner said a lot of these situations start with a plan even before they get on the field. The who, what, when, and how safely transport the athlete from point A to B is pre-planning.

“It’s a sad time for me because it’s one of the things you don’t want to do is to tell a 16, 18, 20-year-old that he can not play the sport he loves because this can lead to death,” Ukpong said.

One thing cardiologists want to hone in on is the fact that years ago they did not have a defibrillator. The survival rate for commercial cordis is about a 35% chance.

Medical professionals and students should always have a “what if” plan when faced with any injury but especially on and off the field.



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