Sporting Event Emergency Action Plan

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Sporting Event Emergency Action Plan

What Do the Bills and Team Canada Have in Common?

During the holiday season 2023, Team Canada Junior Hockey and The Buffalo Bills played key and pivotal games. While exciting to watch and cheer both teams have one thing in common. Both teams had players suffer severe injuries. Both teams had a successfully implemented emergency response plan, contributing to the ultimate outcome for the players involved. Let’s look at these two situations and see what we can learn.

Team Canada’s Colton Dach Injures Shoulder

Colton Dach is a well respected up and coming hockey superstar that is on loan to Team Canada for the World Juniors in Halifax and New Brunswick. During the New Years’ eve game he injured his shoulder while checking a player into the boards. Immediately after the check he was able, with much labor, get off the ice. It was at this point that the Emergency Action Plan was implemented. The athletic trainers assisted him from the bench to the dressing room. He was then assessed by the team doctor and referred to onsite paramedics for urgent transport to hospital for ongoing care and treatment.

Buffalo Bills Star Damar Hamlin Suffers Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Damar Hamlin is a safety with the Buffalo Bills NFL team. During the game in Cincinnati on Jan 2, 2023 Hamlin tackled an opposing player. The player’s shoulder violently collided with Hamlin’s chest. Hamlin got off the ground, stumbled for a couple of seconds and then died. He collapsed to the field in cardiac arrest, a condition where your heart and breathing stops rendering someone clinically dead. Without immediate CPR and defibrillators death is a guarantee. So why did he go into cardiac arrest? In all likelihood, he suffered from a condition known as Commotio Cardis. The patient suffers a blow to the chest, over the heart, during a critical part of the heartbeat that causes the lethal arrhythmia ventricular fibrillation to occur. This is not a medical condition that someone has or that could have been predicted but rather a normal reaction to an abnormal event. Once down on the field athletic trainers from the team responded and immediately started CPR while implementing the emergency action plan. The team physician was notified and attended as did onsite paramedics. Paramedics took control of the situation and initiated advanced cardiac life support, resulting in his heartbeat returning. He was subsequently transported to the hospital for ongoing care and treatment.

Sporting Event Emergency Action Plan

In both situations there was a well written and implemented Sporting Event Emergency Action Plan in place. Everyone involved knew how to get help and what help to get. The responders know their respective roles and responsibilities and work as a team to affect the best outcome. In both situations the team’s trainer accessed the patient and did an initial assessment. The team doctor was notified and attended along with the dedicated onsite paramedics. The doctor would have overall responsibility for the medical care however it is the paramedics that provided emergency care, medications, treatment, stabilization and transport to the players involved. Does your organization have an emergency action plan? Do you have onsite paramedics dedicated to your event? If not, why not? Someone’s life is in your hands and waiting for community responders takes too long. If you feel like your business needs an emergency response plan or plan update, we can help! canaPHEM’s Health and Safety Policy Development services help organizations formulate and set in place emergency response plans. We also offer an “Emergency Response Team” consultation, where we create mock scenarios to prepare your team and test your emergency response plans. For more information on our emergency response services, contact us online or by phone at 905 493 7436.