Appendix 3

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse College of Health, Physical Education
and Recreation Athletics Department

Emergency Medical Care Plan

Last Updated: February 2003
July 29, 1999 NCAA Guidelines

In the past two decades, NCAA institutions have experienced an expansion in the number of athletics programs, an increase in the length of sports seasons and the addition of non-traditional seasons, skill-instruction sessions, and year-round strength and conditioning programs.  The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports has noted that this increased athletics activity has not been matched by an increase in appropriate medical support.

Appropriate emergency medical care and supervision guidelines for practices and competitions in all sports are included in the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook and have been incorporated into the Division I Athletics Certification Self-Study Instrument and the Divisions II and III Institutional Self-Study Guides.  Point I I in section IA of the Handbook provides the following guidelines for emergency care.

Reasonable attention to all possible preventive measures will not eliminate sports injuries.  Each scheduled practice or contest of an institution-sponsored intercollegiate athletics event, as well as out-of-season practices and skills sessions, should include the following:

  • The presence (or immediate availability) of a person qualified and delegated to render emergency care to a stricken participant.
  • The presence or planned access to a physician for prompt medical evaluation of the situation, when warranted.
  • Planned access to a medical facility, including a plan for communication and transportation between the athletics site and the medical facility for prompt medical services, when warranted.  Access to a working telephone or other telecommunications device, whether fixed or mobile, should be assured.
  • All necessary emergency equipment should be at the site or quickly accessible.  Equipment should be in good operating condition, and personnel must be trained in advance to use it properly.  Additionally, emergency information about the student-athlete should be available both at home and on the road for use by medical personnel.
  • A thorough understanding by all parties, including the leadership of visiting teams, of the personnel and procedures associated with the emergency care plan.
  • Certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, first aid, and prevention of disease transmission (as outlined by OSHA guidelines) should be required for all athletics personnel associated with practices, competitions, skills instruction, and strength and conditioning.  New staff engaged in these activities should comply with these rules within six months of employment.

UW-L Eagle Athletics Commitment and Obligation

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse athletics program is committed and obligated to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each of its student-athletes and to establish and maintain an environment that fosters a positive relationship between the student-athlete and the coach.  We intend to operate our athletics program in a manner that is consistent with the letter and spirit of NCAA, conference and University policies and procedures.

The University's commitment is to provide safe and healthful athletic programs through the actions of our responsible administrators, coaches and staff.  This will be completed by informing coaches, staff, student athletes and other individuals involved with the athletics program in their responsibilities within this Emergency Medical Care Plan.  Each individual involved in intercollegiate athletics is obligated to maintain competency in knowledge of this Emergency Medical Care Plan and to act within his or her realm of responsibility to comply with the intent of the Plan.

UW-L Eagle Athletics Compliance Strategy

All individuals involved in UW-L Eagle Athletics should use, as appropriate, the below methods to assure the provision of emergency medical care.  These are minimal methods that can be used to meet the intent of the NCAA guidelines; personnel are not restricted to these methods and are encouraged to expand and maintain the flexibility necessary to provide emergency medical care.  The athletics program has attempted to develop this strategy in a manner that is as painless as possible for all concerned without sacrificing athletic and educational value.  

  1.  Emergency Care

    UW-L's Certified Athletic Trainers cannot be available for every sports regular season practice/game and in-season or out-of-season activity associated with each sport.

    Coaches are responsible for coordinating coverage with Athletic Trainers. Coaches should give Athletic Trainer a schedule of all regular season practices and games. Athletic Trainers will attempt to provide coverage based on the schedule provided by the Coach. In cases where availability conflicts arise, the Athletic Trainers will work out availability of Athletic Trainers. In some cases, Athletic Trainers may not be available and the Coach needs to assure that a means is available to request emergency medical care.

    When Athletic Trainers are not available for road game/practices, the Athletic Trainer will attempt to coordinate coverage with the host institution. When athletic trainer services are not available at the host institution, the coach needs to assure that a means is available to request emergency medical care.

    Athletic Trainer services for out-of-season activities need to be arranged by the individual participants. Participants can contact Athletic Training to determine availability. When athletic trainer services are not available, the participants need to assure that a means is available to request emergency medical care.

    All Coaches and other athletics personnel associated with practices, competition, skill instruction, and strength and conditioning are encouraged to become and stay certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPF) techniques, first aid and prevention of disease transmission. The Director of Athletics will coordinate initial and refresher training for these subjects on a periodic basis. Emergency first aid/CPR kits will be provided to all coaches and will also be available for checkout form the Athletic Training Office.

    The UW-L Student Health Center is also available to provide outpatient and urgent care services. Urgent care is available on a walk-in basis when the Health Center is open. These services are available for all full-time students who are registered for a minimum of 7 credits each semester. The Health Center does not provide emergency services or services outside of the Health Center facility, such services are offered by hospital emergency rooms. 

    When Athletic Trainers or other licensed healthcare professionals are not immediately available a method of requesting immediate medical care must be available. Coaches or other athletics personnel associated with practices, competitions, skills instruction, and strength and conditioning are responsible for arranging this method of communication. For activities outside of regular season practices and games, the individual participants are encouraged to be aware and arrange the methods necessary to provide emergency care. Specific methods to request assistance are included in the following section related to Emergency Response Procedures and Communication Methods.

  2. Emergency Response Procedure

    When Athletic Trainers or first-aid certified personnel are not available, or injuries are beyond their ability to treat, immediately contact emergency medical care responders as described in this section. Refer to the Communication Methods section below for a description of available notification systems.

    For incidents occurring at UW-L, the emergency response procedure is as follows:

    •  Determine if event is a life threatening or non-life threatening emergency.
    • Call 911 to report and life-threatening emergency to local authorities. Provide follow-up notification to University Police, 789-9999  
    • Call 789-9999 to report all other emergencies to University Police.
    •  Call 785-8000 for other campus switchboard/dispatch request for assistance or information.

    A life-threatening emergency is an unforeseen event in which there is a clear potential for serious injury to a person if immediate action is not taken. If in doubt, consider the emergency life threatening. An emergency is an unforeseen event that calls for immediate action to protect individuals, the environment or property.

    Call 911 to request assistance for medical care emergencies not occurring at UW-L.

  3. Communication Methods

    Since Athletic Trainers or first-aid certified personnel may not always be available, or the injuries are beyond their ability to treat, a means to request emergency medical care should continually be available. The selection of the type of communication equipment will depend upon several factors, including, but not limited to location of event. The established means of communication are as follows:

    • Standard Telephone- Determine location and availability prior to athletic events. These telephones are all located indoors.

    • Cellular Telephones- Cellular telephones are available for checkout from the Athletic Directors Office. The
      cellular telephones are only to be used for emergency incidents. Cellular telephone use will be tracked and
      appropriate action will be taken if the telephone is not used for emergency purposes.

    • Emergency Telephones- The UW-L  campus has a variety of blue-light emergency telephones located
      throughout campus. The telephones automatically ring to University Police when activated. Personnel should
      familiarize themselves with the location of such a telephone to the practice area. For individuals using the
      practice fields adjacent to North Campus Classroom building, an emergency blue-light telephone is located on
      the southeast corner of the building.

    • Pay Telephone- The UW-L campus has a variety of pay telephone located throughout campus. Personnel
      should familiarize themselves with the location of such a telephone to the practice area. All pay telephones can
      be used to dial 911 at no charge.

Additional Information

For additional information related to this NCAA required Emergency Medical Care Plan please contact the UW-L Athletic Director, Mr. Joe Baker, at baker.jose@uwlax.edu or (608) 785-8616.  In addition, the UW-L Comprehensive Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan is available on the internet at the following address:  Emergency Response Plan 

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