Most tournaments and sports governing bodies will establish minimum standards for medical staff, emergency equipment, and facilities for competitions (1 and 2). There is not enough information available to help medical teams determine their supply requirements for each game. In a professional sport environment, it is essential that a team provides medical equipment in order to support player performance and illness management. This blog will focus on medical equipment that is applicable to other sports.
Bags for off-field use
The medical team will use these bags to transport both physiotherapy equipment and medical equipment pre- and post-game.
Bag for Physiotherapist Supplies
This bag includes all the necessary equipment for squad strapping, including tape, sprays, and protective items. Tape should be laid on a table by therapists for the players to use pre-game (e.g. Line-out strapping should be used, while items such as dressings or compression bandages should not be placed on a table. This will allow for quick post-game packaging.
Different recovery devices may be used by teams. They can be used to help with injury management or general recovery. Active and cold compression devices.
Doctor Supplies Bag
To deal with common situations, doctors may want to keep supplies in the medical area. Most doctors will have a pre-game suture box or an area ready to go in case they are needed. A variety of primary care diagnostic equipment, such as stethoscopes and otoscopes, is useful for traveling physicians. To facilitate the Head Injury Assessment process in rugby union, medical teams should ensure that any sport-specific equipment is available for match-days. A doctor should work closely with the medical team to ensure that each player has a folder that contains all relevant information (allergies and medications, etc). These can be very useful in an emergency, as well any baseline information.
Cases involving Medications
Doctors may want to keep a stock of common medications in addition to the essential emergency medication. This is especially important if there is no access to a pharmacy or the team is on the road. The most common and effective medications that are prescribed for games or the immediate period would be anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines. They also include topical creams (such Fucidin and chloramphenicol lotion), and gastro-intestinal medication (including buscopan and loperamide). Aspirin and glyceryl trinitrate are also common medications. Doctors must ensure that these medications are stored in accordance with local governance regulations and that the medication boxes are securely locked.
Bags for the field
The on-field medical team will carry these bags from their touchline positions (3) to the pitch. Some of these supplies may be kept dry and adhesive in a plastic bag for use in case of severe weather. It is important that gloves are worn by medical personnel on the field. They should be changed and disposed off in-game. To make it easier to access blood injuries and to remove dirt, you can place gauze or nose plugs under your glove at the dorsal end of the non-dominant side. To avoid any confusion regarding sizings, it is possible to write the initials of each player on the packaging if multiple players are wearing contact lenses that are being held during the game by the medical team. To make it easier for the player to insert the contact lenses, a small mirror in a pocket can be helpful. You might also find useful rnergy gels to help fatiguing players and hair bands for long-haired players. For quick access, you can include items such as a pocket Mask, methoxyflurane Inhalers, and Oropharyngeal Airways for acute Emergency Care in the external pockets.
Pitch Bag for Physiotherapists
The bag should contain the primary tape as well as any blood management supplies required by the on-field physical therapist. This bag should contain only minimal tape. A small bag, kept pitchside for any additional items, can be stored in the bag.
Doctor Pitch Bag
The bag should have a large number of items to be able to handle a range of situations on the field. Accessible blood management supplies, as well as player-specific medication and supplies (including inhalers and contact lenses) should all be available. This bag may contain the same useful, easily-transportable emergency equipment that the pitch bag for physiotherapists.
These bags will be placed pitchside for the game, making it easy to access for any off-field medical personnel (e.g. Match day doctor, ambulance team. These devices may be required to be on the field of play when radio communications or hand signals are used. Anthrometric differences between players should be taken into account when determining the size of immobilizing devices.
A post-game checklist should be created of all equipment and a note made of any items that may need to be repaired or replaced before the next game.