Sideline Sports Doc: First-aid kits and emergency action plans are crucial parts of your preseason checklist

Sideline Sports Doc: First-aid kits and emergency action plans are crucial parts of your preseason checklist

Editor’s note: This article by Dev Mishra, M.D. (president of Sideline Sports Doc) first appeared in SoccerAmerica. Sideline Sports Doc is advancing the Players First pillar of Player Health & Safety through resources that include an online injury recognition training course.

First-Aid Kit

While it will not suffice for any serious treatment, every coach should make sure they have a basic first aid-kit for initial sideline first aid responses. The following bare minimum first-aid kit supplies are available at essentially all drug stores:

  • Multiple instant cold packs
  • Assorted sized adhesive bandages
  • Blister care
  • 3-inch and 4-inch ACE bandages
  • Disposable non-latex gloves (when examining scrapes or lacerations)
  • Gel hand sanitizier
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Sterile gauze bandages
  • Sterile gauze roll
  • Sterile saline bottle
  • Saline rinse and Hiblicens botles
  • 1-inch and 2-inch athletic tape
  • Medical scissors
  • Hydrogen peroxide (for cleaning blood off of uniforms)
  • Plastic bags for waste

Emergency Action Plan

An emergency action plan is documented set of systems and processes to be followed in case of a health or environmental emergency.

It is very important to have the documented steps well known and practiced to avoid any panic and ensure the emergency is handled effectively and efficiently.

Emergency Action Plan for Club and Recreational Teams

While it is not expected for club or recreational teams to have a full, detailed EAP, it would be very beneficial to:

  • Keep a first-aid kit on-site
  • Keep the local emergency service number ahead of time when traveling from home. It is often much faster than calling 911.
  • Have coaches and team managers who are trained in basic injury recognition

Emergency Action Plan for Club Directors and Tournament Organizers

Requirements here vary by state and governing body but here are some key elements:

  • Key personnel – Identify the emergency team involved in your EAP and each specific role.
  • How to communicate – What devices are available to communicate the emergency? Are there areas around that will not have cell service? What numbers should someone call incase of emergency? What directions and specifics regarding the venue must be relayed to the EMS responders?
  • Emergency equipment – It is very smart to keep an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) at the fields or complex. Keep it easily identifiable in an easily accessible place.
  • Who to call for Emergency Transport – Determine the estimated response times and options for the necessary transport.
  • Venue directions with a map – Keep this specific to each location with simple, detailed instructions. Keep all vehicle entry points accessible and make sure you have the keys with you at all times to avoid having to scramble for them during the actual emergency.
  • First responder roles – Stabilize the scene of the emergency with quick response, activate EMS, and establish equipment retrieval and direction of EMS to the incident.

Read the entire article from Dev Mishra and SoccerAmerica here.