It requires cool heads and rational minds to take command when an athlete suffers from a health emergency, whether in training or during actual play. More than that, the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that has become so critical in college and professional sports risk management is increasingly necessary at the amateur level, too.
At a basic level, the Emergency Action Plan is key to a speedy response to serious sports injuries and health issues that can and do occur: The gymnast in training whose Arabian double front fails. The Little Leaguer who suffers heat stroke. The high school hockey player who’s comatose after a hard check. It’s an important aspect of risk management for any organization that’s involved in amateur sports. An EAP that’s ready to be put into play swiftly and effectively will contain and mitigate the damage. Ultimately, it will help make sports safer for youth and amateur athletes.
An Emergency Action Plan is one of your first lines of defense for catastrophic sports injuries. It’s a comprehensive, detailed, written course of action, designed to ensure the response to an emergency is rapid, appropriate, controlled and precise. It should be venue-specific and include input from appropriate emergency medical services and administrators with the school, league or sponsoring organization. The EAP defines standards of care in the event of a player emergency and steps to ensure they are applied.
In developing and implementing an Emergency Action Plan, it’s helpful to keep six guidelines in mind:
- All staff members, trainers, coaches and other pertinent medical personnel should receive, review and update relevant aspects of the EAP on an annual basis. They also should rehearse its action steps.
- The EAP must include documented recommendations for appropriate response actions that should be taken after a catastrophic incident.
- Roles and responsibilities must be assigned and documented for all staff members, coaches and medical personnel within a designated chain of command.
- The location of on-site emergency equipment (Automated External Defibrillators, CPR masks, etc.) should be identified.
- Contact information for EMS and other critical medical personnel should be listed in the EAP and kept current, along with the facility address and location.
- EAPs should contain information for healthcare professionals who will be responsible for providing medical coverage in the event of a catastrophic injury.
HUB International’s Sports & Entertainment Insurance experts are ready to guide your risk considerations for your sports organization. Talk to us today.