What should I do if an athlete is injured during practice?

If an athlete has just been injured in practice, the first thing you should do is assess if he is conscious and breathing. If he is unconscious and/or not breathing, you should immediately call 911.

Other reasons to call 911 are if the athlete's heart has stopped, if you suspect he is suffering from a heat illness (heat stroke or heat exhaustion), if he has a severe broken bone, or if he's going into a diabetic coma or insulin shock.

If the athlete's injuries do not require you to call 911, you should notify his parents or guardians as soon as possible. You should have the athlete sit out the rest of practice and have someone check on him frequently.

Make sure you document everything you did for the athlete and everything you said to him and his parents or guardians.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Washington State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.