Athletic administrators' reporting of emergency preparedness regarding policies and procedures in Iowa secondary schools

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Journal of Athletic Training


Context: Secondary schools that offer school-sponsored athletic events should follow best-practice guidelines to provide policies that promote student health and safety. Objective: To assess emergency preparedness from the perspective of athletic administrators (AAs) in Iowa secondary schools. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Online survey. Patients or Other Participants: Ninety-eight AAs from Iowa completed the survey (age = 45.33 ± 10.22 years, years as an AA = 9.37 ± 8.14, years in current role = 7.72 ± 7.09). Main Outcome Measures(s): The 6-section survey contained with questions about access to athletic trainers (ATs), emergency action plans (EAPs), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillators (AEDs), concussions, heat illness, and other general policies. Descriptive statistics (percentages and frequencies) were reported. Relative risk was calculated to compare schools with and those without access to ATs (P<.05). Results: Most respondents (76.5%, n = 75/98) reported their school had access to a licensed AT. The majority had a written EAP (83.3%, n = 70/84), but fewer than half (39.2%, n = 31/79) reviewed it annually and fewer than 10% (n = 6/85) reported practicing it each year. All respondents (100%, N = 78/78) stated they had an AED on campus. All respondents (N = 77/77) indicated that they were familiar with the Iowa High School Athletic Association's (IHSAA's) concussion policy and had a concussion guideline in place. Many respondents (95.9%, n = 71/74) described being familiar with the IHSAA's heat illness policy, but more than half (62.1%, n = 41/66) noted they did not have a heat illness policy in place at their school. Conclusions: Most respondents indicated their school had access to ATs, followed the state-mandated concussion guidelines, and had an AED. Although participants reported having written EAPs in place, levels of annual EAP review and practice were low. These results suggest that schools would benefit from educational opportunities to improve safety policies.

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