It Takes a Team: Head and Neck Injuries in the Helmeted Athlete
Increasingly, the care of patients with musculoskeletal problems is being provided by teams of providers with varied professional backgrounds and diverse types of experience.
On March 1, 2016, JBJS Reviews presented its inaugural “team approach” article, entitled “Treatment of Head and Neck Injuries in the Helmeted Athlete,” by Diduch et al.
The article summarizes updated recommendations for on-field and in-hospital injury evaluation, spine-boarding, and equipment removal. Throughout, the authors stress that initial and follow-up steps in the process are a team effort that may involve the athletic trainer, team physician, EMS provider, and emergency, orthopaedic, and primary-care physicians.
Insisting that team collaboration should begin prior to any athletic competition or event, the authors strongly recommend preseason training and pregame time-outs for all members of the sidelines medical team to clarify roles, responsibilities, and communication strategies.
Diduch et al. also discuss in detail the team approach to concussion evaluation and management, including team-based decisions about the need for and destination of emergency transport.