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2.5 Million Basketball Injuries To High School Athletes in 6 Seasons, Study Finds

Update Date: Apr 23, 2014 09:04 AM EDT

Basketball is apparently one of the most popular high school sport in United States with 1 million participants annually. However, not everything about it makes it a preferable sports. A recent study examined the data related to adolescents of 13-19 years and found that nationally 1,514,957 patients with basketball-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) from 2005 to 2010. 

The study also found that 1,064,551 were treated in the athletic training setting. 

"Athletic trainers play a really important role in helping to assess those more mild or moderate injuries and that helps alleviate a burden on the health care system and on families," said Lara McKenzie, PhD, the study's lead author and principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's, in the press release. "They are right there on the sidelines. They are there when some of these things happen. And they can be a great resource for families to evaluate that injury immediately." 

16 years ago, American Medical Association had recommended all high school sports program to enlist an athletic medicine unit consisting of a physician director and an athletic trainer. However yet as of 2009, only 42 percent of high school sports teams met this recommendation.

Researchers said while athletic trainers couldn't treat every injury but they can make the system more efficient by only sending athletes to the hospital when it was necessary. 

We are there to prevent injuries, evaluate them quickly, treat them immediately and try our best to make sure that as we return them to play we do it in the most safe and efficient way possible," said Kerry Waple, ATC, certified athletic trainer in Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children's, in the press release. "There are a lot of injuries that happen that are winding up in urgent cares and emergency departments that don't need to be there."

The study is published in the Journal of Athletic Training.

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