“The Collapsed Athlete,” a free online course centered around developing and practicing Emergency Actions Plans (EAP), is the most recently launched course from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Learning Center.
“The Collapsed Athlete” dives into more than just the importance of EAPs and assigning vital responsibilities to team members. The course also explores how the three H’s – heart, heat and head – factor into potentially fatal injuries and illnesses.
High school students incur serious, life-threatening medical emergencies on a yearly basis while participating in athletics and activities. While the causes of those situations are many and varied, they may be a result of pre-diagnosed medical conditions. Others, however, may be a consequence of the activity, environmental conditions or an unrecognized medical condition.
Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services, considers “The Collapsed Athlete” to be one of the “most critically important courses” to ever be launched by the Learning Center.
“Just as a coach recognizes the importance of preparation for an event, it is critical to understand the actions to take when a student-athlete or administrator, fellow coach or other innocent bystander collapses,” Schuster said. “What do you do? Who do you call? Where do you start?
"The health and safety of the young people participating in our programs is the most important thing, and this course focuses on what to do if and when a student collapses,” Schuster said. “We have other courses that have focused on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion, sudden cardiac arrest and heat illness prevention, but this course gets you to think about this situation and plan for it.”
The development of “The Collapsed Athlete” began nearly one year ago in collaboration with the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC). Content creation for the course was led by the Dr. Michael Koester and Dr. Neha Raukar, both of whom are members of SMAC.
“They did a wonderful job with the content,” Schuster added, “and now it is available to help schools and coaches across the country.”
For more information and to access “The Collapsed Athlete” course from the Learning Center, please visit: https://nfhslearn.com/courses/the-collapsed-athlete. To view the Learning Center’s entire course catalog, please visit: https://nfhslearn.com/courses.