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April 14, 2011

Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine Trainers Bring Safer Play for CCSD Teen Athletes

Lincoln High footballJust in time for scorching summer “two-a-day” football practices, Charleston County School District (CCSD) and Roper St. Francis Healthcare are partnering to bring certified athletic trainers to seven of the district's high schools. The collaboration—aimed at preventing and treating athletes' injuries and illnesses—kicks off with a health fair on April 30.

Through this partnership, certified athletic trainers will now be available at the schools to evaluate and treat injuries. They also will work to prevent sports-related health issues by identifying problems in advance.

St. Johns High basketball playerAccording to the American Medical Association, heat illness is a leading cause of death among U.S. high school athletes. In fact, two of the state's teen athletes have died of heat illness in the past four years. Sudden cardiac arrest is also one of the numerous medical issues gaining national attention for high school athletes. U.S. news reports show that in March 2011, three high school students died of sudden cardiac arrest. Similarly, one-third of all pediatric brain injuries are now being associated with sports, predominately in the 15 – 19 year old age category, as tracked by the Centers for Disease Control.

Lincoln High volleyball "Until now, we did not have sufficient athletic healthcare at all of the high schools. We reached out to Roper St. Francis Healthcare for help, and beginning mid-summer Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine will be fully incorporating athletic trainers into the schools’ sports programs,” said Superintendent Dr. Nancy J. McGinley. “We are grateful to Roper St. Francis for sponsoring this daily athletic healthcare program that we believe will contribute greatly to the well-being of hundreds of high school athletes.”

Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine has a deep bench of physicians with 21 board certified orthopedic surgeons and six sports medicine surgeons who are fellowship-trained. This partnership brings needed resources to athletes and schools—as student needs increase and funding for public education decreases.  

North Charleston High footballThe CCSD high schools with assigned athletic trainers will include:

  • Baptist Hill High
  • Burke High
  • Garrett Academy of Technology
  • Lincoln High
  • Military Magnet Academy
  • North Charleston High
  • St. John’s High

The partnership will kick off with a Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine sports health fair at Saturday, April 30, 2011, at R. B. Stall High School. The event is open to pre-registered Charleston County public and private high schools. Athletic trainers and sports medicine physicians will be joined by general practice physicians, nurses and physical therapists to provide evaluations and education. Students may see what time period their school is attending by calling (843) 789-1501 or by contacting Roper St. Francis by email.

North Charleston basketballThe goals of a pre-participation sports evaluation are to:

  • Determine that the athlete is in general good health.
  • Assess the athlete's present fitness level.
  • Detect conditions that predispose the athlete to new injuries.
  • Evaluate any existing injuries of the athlete.
  • Assess the size and developmental maturation of the athlete.
  • Detect congenital anomalies that increase the athlete's risk of injury.
  • Detect poor pre-participation conditioning that may put the athlete at increased risk.

A thorough medical history is the most beneficial tool in the athletic pre-participation evaluation. When completed and thoroughly reviewed, this history supplies most of the information that is needed to decide if an athlete can safely compete.

Learn more about Roper St. Francis Sports Medicine.

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