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Youth Sports Coalition Calls for Uniform Examination Process for Student Athletes
By James Arvantes • Washington
Six organizations, including the AAFP, collaborated on the 180-page PPE monograph, which provides guidance on how to conduct physicals for student athletes. It also provides medical background for decisions by an individual athlete's physician or team physician.
"The CDC estimates that there are more than 2 million injuries among high-school student athletes, more than half of which are probably preventable," said David Bernhardt, M.D., professor of pediatrics and orthopedics/rehabilitation in the division of sports medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and co-author of the monograph. "This coalition and campaign is committed to making sports even more of a health-enhancing experience … by addressing the health and well-being of our young athletes before training and competition."
Preparticipation Physical Evaluation Forms Ready to Download
The monograph, which is in its fourth edition, is twice the size of previous editions and places a greater emphasis on conditions that might affect a student athlete's overall health status, such as cardiovascular health, heat and hydration, head injuries, concussions, and asthma. The latest edition also contains more information on women athletes and athletes with special needs.
According to family physician Yvette Rooks, M.D., of Baltimore, vice chair and assistant professor in the University of Maryland Department of Family & Community Medicine, program director of the University of Maryland Medical Center Family Medicine Residency and head team physician for the University of Maryland at College Park, she is "always picking up pre-existing conditions in our athletes who need further work-up."
"If we had an exam coming in or had a proper exam at the high-school level, we could have picked up some of these (conditions) that needed to be evaluated," said Rooks.
Preparticipation Evaluation Forms
Team Physician Consensus Statements
Policy on Sports Medicine, Health and Fitness
Policy on Sports Medicine, Disabled Persons: Participation in Sports and Physical Activities
American Family Physician:"Practice Guidelines: ACC Statement on Preparticipation Cardiovascular Screening for Competitive Athletes"
(Aug. 1, 2005)
Americans in Motion-Healthy Interventions: Overcoming Barriers to Better Fitness