Research has found both men's and women's lacrosse to be relatively safe compared to other commonly played team sports. Most injuries are minor strains, sprains and contusions. But, as in any sport, more significant injuries can and do occur. Two of the more publicized concerns surround the occurrence of sports-related concussions and sudden cardiac arrest. PQ Lacrosse wants to share with you some safety information and the measures we are taking to address these concerns.
What is a concussion? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. US Lacrosse and the CDC have partnered to develop a number of educational resources regarding concussions. These resources, titled Heads Up, contain practical, easy-to-use information designed to help reduce the numbers of this type of injury.
In an effort to better protect your lacrosse player from concussion, PQ Lacrosse is implementing the following measures:
- Concussion safety training for coaches.
- Ensure proper equipment use and fit.
- Coaching of proper contact techniques.
- “If in doubt, sit him/her out,” concussion guidelines from the Center for Disease control and prevention.
- King-Devick Concussion Baseline testing for every player. If a player is suspected of having a possible concussion, the King-Devick test will be performed and if there is a deviation from baseline, the player will not continue to play or practice and the parents will be notified.
- If a player has been removed from a game or practice due to a suspected concussion, the player cannot return to practice or another game until a note from a health care professional is given to the coach.
- All parents will be given the Concussion Facts for Parents hand out from the CDC.
Commotio Cordis is a medical term referring to a rare but potentially catastrophic phenomenon that can result in sudden cardiac arrest. Commotio Cordis can occur when a blunt, but often relatively mild blow to the area of the chest directly over the heart occurs during a precise moment of the heart’s cycle, leading to sudden cardiac arrest. Examples of the blunt object may include: baseball, lacrosse ball, hockey puck, fist, shoulder or knee.
To address this safety concern, PQ Lacrosse has implemented the American Heart Association’s four-step “Chain-of-Survival” for Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
- Early 911 Access
- Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Early Defibrillation with Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and
- Early Advanced Life Support (ALS).
An AED was recently purchased by PQ lacrosse and will be available during home games and practices at Mesa Verde Middle School. All Coaching staff will be trained in First aid, CPR and the use of the AED.
Additional player safety information is available from US Lacrosse and the CDC at the following links: www.uslacrosse.org/safety or www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/index.html.