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Methods for moving injured athletes

This is an excerpt from Sport First Aid, Fourth Edition by Melinda J. Flegel.

A common situation you may face is one in which an athlete has a minor or moderate injury such as a muscle pull or arm contusion. When this type of situation arises, you will use one of several types of assists.

Less severely injured athletes can be more readily moved, but you must still exercise extreme caution. If necessary, you may move an athlete suffering from these conditions:

• Sprains and strains

• Solar plexus injury (“wind knocked out”)

• Contusions

• Facial injuries

• Closed and nondisplaced (no gross deformity) fractures of the finger, hand, wrist, forearm, ankle, and foot

• Finger dislocations

Playing it safe when moving injured athletes

Before moving a noncritically injured athlete, you should

  • control profuse bleeding and
  • immobilize or splint all unstable injuries.

If you have a history of back or leg problems, or if you are considerably smaller than the athlete, do not attempt the four-handed carrying assist or the two-handed carrying assist.


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