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Sports prehospital-immediate care and spinal injury: not a car crash in sight
  1. Jonathan R Hanson1,
  2. Brian Carlin2
  1. 1Emergency department, Dr Mackinnon Memorial Hospital, NHS Highland, Isle of Skye, Scotland
  2. 2Centre for Emergency Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan R Hanson, Dr Mackinnon Memorial hospital, NHS Highland, Isle of Skye, Scotland, IV49 9AA; jonathanhanson{at}


The prehospital management of serious injury is a key skill required of pitch-side medical staff. Previously, specific training in sports prehospital-immediate care was lacking or not of a comparable standard to other aspects of emergency care. Many principles have been drawn from general prehospital care or in-hospital training courses. This article discusses sports prehospital-immediate care as a niche of general prehospital care, using spinal injury management as an illustration of the major differences. It highlights the need to develop the sport-specific prehospital evidence base, rather than relying exclusively on considerations relevant to prolonged immobilisation of multiply injured casualties from motor vehicle accidents, falls from height or burns.

  • Sporting injuries
  • Training
  • Pre-hospital trauma care

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