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NCAA Settles Head Injury Lawsuit

The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.
 
College sports' governing body also agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who received head blows, according to a Tuesday filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Critics have accused the NCAA of giving too much discretion to hundreds of individual schools about when athletes can go back into games, putting them at risk.
 
Unlike a proposed settlement in a similar lawsuit against the NFL, this deal stops short of setting aside money to pay players who suffered brain trauma. Instead, athletes can sue individually for damages and the NCAA-funded tests to gauge the extent of neurological injuries could establish grounds for doing that.
 
The filing serves as notice to the federal judge overseeing the class-action case that the parties struck a deal after nearly a year of negotiations. In addition to football, ice hockey and soccer, the settlement also applies to all men and women who participated in basketball, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse.
 
Joseph Siprut, the lead plaintiffs' attorney who spearheaded talks with the NCAA, said the sometimes-tough negotiations ended with a deal that will make college athletics safer.
 

Two ATSNJ Student Members Honored at NATA Annual Convention

Two student members of the Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey were selected to receive scholarships at the Pinky Newell Scholarship and Student Leadership Breakfast during the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s 65th Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Indianapolis.  The breakfast was held the morning of Saturday, June 28th in the JW Marriot. NATA and ATSNJ Hall of Fame member, Charlie Thompson, provided the Keynote Address.
 

Selecting a Concussion Educator: Robb Rehberg Thinks Athletic Trainers Best Suited For The Role

With youth sports concussion safety laws in place in all 50 states, increased public awareness about concussions, and growing concern about the long-term effect of repetitive head impacts, the demand for concussion education, not just for parents, coaches, and athletes, but for health care professionals, such as primary care physcians and emergency room doctors, as well is at an all-time high, and promises to go even higher in the coming years.
 
But who should sports programs - whether school-based or independently run - hire to educate athletes, coaches, and parents about concussions? What kind of training, education and experience should they have?
 
We decided to ask a number of leading concussion educators.  First up is Robb Rehberg, Professor and Coordinator of Athletic Training Clinical Education at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.
 
MomsTEAM: Tell us a little bit about your training and education that prepared you to be a concussion educator?
 
Rehberg: My first lessons in dealing with concussion came during my days playing footbal in high school. Since that time, concussions have always been an area of interest for me. I'm an athletic trainer by trade, and my undergraduate degree is in athletic training. I also earned a PhD in Health Science Education and Research, which has helped me not only understand the research, but be able to present it to various groups in a way that is easily understood.
 

President Obama Announces NATA/NFL Collaboration

The NATA, in collaboration with the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society, will support a national initiative to place athletic trainers in underserved high schools in NFL markets during the 2014 football season. The National Football League Foundation and NFL teams will provide $1 million, with NATA adding another $125,000, to improve the health and welfare of those student athletes. President Barack Obama announced this initiative during the White House Healthy Kids and Concussion Summit in Washington, DC, this morning.

 
“I’m proud to announce a number of new partnerships and commitments from the people in this room that are going to help us move the ball forward on this issue,” Obama said. “… The NFL is committing $25 million of new funding over the next three years to test strategies like creating health and safety forums for parents, and they’re building on the program piloted by my own Chicago Bears to get more [athletic] trainers at high school games.”
 
The White House released a fact sheet about the event that further detailed our collaboration with the NFL:

ACL Knee Injuries - An Ounce of Prevention is Priceless

Nearly a quarter of a million anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries occur each year in North America in athletes who participate in high demand sports such as soccer, football, and basketball.
 
A major injury prevention position statement released today by the Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine (CASEM) and published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine (CJSM) (www.cjsportmed.com) concludes that youth soccer players and their coaches can significantly decrease the incidence of ACL injuries by incorporating neuromuscular training (NMT) into their warm-up routines. NMT involves doing specific agility and strength training activities.  NMT should be incorporated into routine practices and warm ups and should begin, at the very latest, in the early teenage years. "These warm up exercises, carried out correctly, will keep the athletes on the field instead of in our offices", states Dr. Cathy Campbell, co-author of the new position statement and team doctor for the Canadian women's soccer team.
 

Study Calls for More Access to On-site Athletic Trainers to Properly Assess Injuries

Basketball is a popular high school sport in the United States with 1 million participants annually. A recently published study by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital is the first to compare and describe the occurrence and distribution patterns of basketball-related injuries treated in emergency departments and the high school athletic training setting among adolescents and teens.
 
The study, published online in the Journal of Athletic Training, examined data relating to adolescents 13-19 years of age who were treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) from 2005 through 2010 and those treated in the high school athletic training setting during the 2005-2006 through the 2010-2011 academic years for an injury associated with basketball. Nationally, 1,514,957 patients with basketball-related injuries were treated in EDs and 1,064,551 were treated in the athletic training setting.
 
The study found that in general, injuries that are more easily diagnosed and treated, such as sprains/strains, were more likely to be treated onsite by an athletic trainer while more serious injuries, such as fractures, that require more extensive diagnostic and treatment procedures were more commonly treated in an ED.
 

2014 Boston Marathon Athletic Trainers Just Did Their Jobs

Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Medical workers help U.S. runner Shalane Flanagan after crossing the finish line during the 2014 Boston Marathon.

What they wanted Monday wasn't all that different from what the 36,000 people running toward them wanted. The 230 athletic trainers and their students working at the Boston Marathon yearned to finish the race and to do their best.

 

The Food Bank of NJ Names the ATSNJ Student Committee as the Division 1 Winner of the 2013 Students Change Hunger Food Drive

The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey Student Committee helped families in need this past winter by donating toys and games to Toys for Tots at local collection centers and canned foods to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside. As both events were a huge success with hundreds of toys donated, the food drive was an astounding endeavor by the student committee.  Each of the state’s five accredited athletic training programs (Rowan University, Seton Hall University, Montclair State University, Kean University and William Paterson University) donated a combined total of 2,376 lbs of food! Due to this tremendous effort, the Food Bank of NJ named the ATSNJ Student Committee as the Division 1 Winner of the 2013 Students Change Hunger Food Drive.
 
The student committee was presented with this award during the business meeting at the Annual ATSNJ conference on April 7, 2014.
 
“Even the smallest amount of food donated can help but the amount donated by the student committee was an amazing effort.” says Laura Sodano, Hunger Action Coordinator. “It does not go unnoticed and is truly appreciated.”
 
“The fact that all five universities throughout the state were able to pull together truly shows the determination and caring spirit of ATSNJ and future athletic trainers.” says Michelle Lima, an athletic training student at Rowan University. “It goes to show that in times of need, there is always a helpful hand.”
 

Seton Hall University Hosts Junior Athletic Training Day

The School of Health and Medical Sciences and Athletic Training Club sponsored a “Junior Athletic Training Day” on Friday, March 21st. High schools students from Clifton, Roxbury, and West Morris Central attended the campus program focused on providing exciting insight to those interested in a career in Athletic Training. The afternoon event at Seton Hall University featured workshops, discussions, and games to enhance the education of aspiring students on different aspects of Athletic Training. Some of the workshops during the program involved taping, spine boarding, dynamic warm-ups, and functional movement screenings. Current graduate students in the Master of Science in Athletic Training program at Seton Hall University led the various hands-on workshops. The exciting event concluded in a fun competition with all the attending students to test their newly obtained knowledge. The energy of the visiting high school students throughout the day showed their level of interest and commitment to pursuing a future college education in the field of Athletic Training!!!

Illinois Athletic Trainer Saves High School Baseball Catcher's Life

A Manual High School baseball player is thankful to be alive after a baseball game last Tuesday took a turn for the worst.  Austin Noel was the catcher in a game against Tremont.  During the fourth inning, a foul ball caught Noel under his face mask, hit him in the throat and knocked him unconscious. That blocked his airway.

Luckily, an athletic trainer was in the dugout and helped save Noel's life.

The details of what happened April 1 may be fuzzy for Noel, but what he does know is that Greg Eberle took the lead in saving his life.

"Never in my career have I had to deal with a situation like that," said Eberle, Assistant Director of Sports Medicine at Hopedale Medical Complex.

Last Tuesday, a foul ball turned your typical high school game into a race to save one player's life.

"Greg opened my airway and gave me the breath, basically the life I needed to live," said Noel.  Noel's airway was blocked after a foul ball hit him in the throat.

"When we got him down he was gurgling which is not really breathing," Eberle said. "He did go unconscious and he was non-responsive at the time."  Eberle tried to clear the airway and started mouth-to-mouth while the school nurse monitored his heart until emergency crews arrived.

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