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Editor,—I cannot resist the temptation to join the debate on sports doctors' resuscitation skills.1,2 The study by Thompson et al3 suggested that there is a perceived need among sports specialists for first aid skills. However, I received no response to my letter concerning this4 which indirectly posed the question, “should doctors who attend aquatic sports be able to deal with a suspected cervical spine fracture and recover the casualty?” Obviously, that is the task of a lifeguard in the same way that first aid at non-aquatic events is the task for a first aider, but perhaps doctors should be competent first aiders and/or lifeguards. This was never in the medical school curriculum and perhaps that should change. At least, first aid training is part of sports medicine courses, but I would like to suggest that lifeguarding should also be included. I would also suggest that all doctors at aquatic events should hold the NPLQ, NBLQ, or at least bronze medallion and bronze cross of the RLSS or overseas equivalent.
Should the organisers of any sports medicine course want advice on this, they should contact the RLSS at River House, High St, Broom, Alcester, Warwickshire B50 4HN, UK. I would be happy to help out but would make two stipulations: everyone on the course should feel obliged to join the RLSS and they should sponsor me for my next fund raising event for the RNLI.
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