Article Text

Review of medical provision in English ice hockey
  1. K Cady,
  2. K Evans,
  3. S Bourgein
  1. Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Care, University of Gloucestershire, Oxstalls Campus, Gloucester GL2 9HW, UK


Ice hockey is the world's fastest sport played on two feet, with players reaching in excess of 35 mph forwards, and 15 mph travelling backwards. The high intensity intermittent skating, combined with rapid changes in velocity and frequent body contact, indicate a high injury potential. English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) and Ice Hockey UK organise and regulate the sport, including the implementation of medical procedures. The aim of this study was to investigate the current level of provision of first aid in English Ice Hockey from grass roots to semiprofessional level. A total of 18 medical staff completed a questionnaire regarding their role as first aiders in an EIHA registered team. A second questionnaire was issued to 116 players and parents competing in an EIHA recognised league regarding their perception of medical provision in the sport. Results show that 88% of medical staff and 55% of players/parents believed the current medical provision to be insufficient. Of the 18 medical staff, half were graduate sports therapists, two were physiotherapists and nine had attended the EIHA Ice Hockey First Aid course. None of the medical staff had a written job description and only 78% had attended relevant continuing professional development in the last 12 months. 94% of home fixtures were attended by medical staff, compared to 77% of away fixtures. Regarding medical staff appointments, “personal contact” was the most popular method of appointment with interviews or adverts for job vacancies the least popular. In conclusion, evidence suggests the affiliated medical person are sufficiently qualified to provide first aid for ice hockey, but the regularity and methods by which the medical staff are appointed needs to be reviewed. The EIHA Ice Hockey First Aid course has influenced the number of first aiders working in the sport with 50% of staff questioned possessing the qualification.

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