Athletes are constantly in motion, which means they are highly susceptible to various types of injury. Sports first aid is a technique used to address such injuries, and in many cases, coaches and trainers must be trained in this type of first aid in order to be prepared to help athletes promptly. First aid is the first line of treatment when an injury occurs; sports first aid refers to the set of techniques and processes used to address the most common injuries and illnesses that will occur in sports. In some cases, this type of first aid may be sport-specific.
Just about all sports teams will have a stocked first aid kit that a coach or trainer can use to administer sports first aid. This kit may feature bandages, antibacterial ointments, muscle rubs, or even splints and more advanced medical equipment. The purpose of first aid is to stabilize a patient in preparation for transportation to a medical facility or in preparation for attention from a trained medical professional, so most sports first aid kids do not include complex equipment that requires extensive training to use.
First aid courses are available in most areas to prepare a coach, trainer, or other person interested in the process for sports injuries and accidents. The training can vary in duration and depth, though any student should expect to spend several hours in a classroom in order to learn the proper techniques. This sports first aid training is usually separate and distinct from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Coaches and trainers usually need to be trained in both techniques, and such certification does expire after time, which means refresher courses will need to be taken to stay current on the certification.
Part of sports first aid training may include transporting a patient, since athletes usually need to be removed from a playing field or court so the game can proceed. The most severe injuries may require the patient to be immobilized until medical professionals can attend to the patient, which means even people trained in sports first aid will refrain from moving the patient. First aid for sports is generally a basic first aid technique to address the basic injuries that commonly occur in a particular sport, so advanced medical techniques will not be covered. Anyone trained in first aid should not attempt these advanced techniques, as this risks further injury to an athlete.