First aid for sports injuries?
August 2, 2005 3:55 PM   Subscribe

Soccer Injuries: People get injured all the time playing indoor soccer ... minor stuff, like sprains and heavy bruising and the like. What kind of first aid should we perform on this kind of injury, what kind of stuff should I keep in my soccer bag for when *I* get hurt like this, and when is it time to send someone to the ER?
posted by SpecialK to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
I would advocate nominating someone from the team/club to do a first aid course.
Ice packs rather than bandages per se are best to have around for immediate swelling reduction for sprains and bruising. I mean it's nice to have bandages and antiseptic and heat rubbing creams (with something like methyl salicylate in it) with you but they're not nearly so useful as ice if someone is acutely injured and can't play on - it's also pain relieving. I guess in a vague sense, if they can't move a joint or can't put any weight at all on an injured leg I'd think they should probably get to a Doctor for an xray. This is all a bit broad brush generalizing of course. There's a million first aid kits available as I just saw in the google ads that turned up when I searched on AskMeFi.
posted by peacay at 4:36 PM on August 2, 2005

Ditto on the first aid course. Personally, I would think that a game should not take place if there's no-one in the room who has taken such a course.
posted by winston at 8:16 PM on August 2, 2005

The first-aid course is a good one. That being said, it isn't likely to tell you more than RICE (rest/ice/compression/elevation) for sprains/bruising. It's good advice, though.

Regarding diagnostics, the bottom line always has to be "when in doubt, see the quack". In cases of stubborn-patient-syndrom, this 'doubt' should come from a third-party -- so do a first-aid course!
posted by coriolisdave at 8:30 PM on August 2, 2005

I've played indoor and outdoor football for years and seen hundreds of injuries. We probably 'should' have a first aider but it has rarely ever happened.

On painful bruising - tell them to stop being a wuss and get on with it

On sprains - escort them off the pitch, get some ice on it and try and find a replacement to get the game finished.

On anything worse, eg. unable to walk, in agony.. best take a trip down to the casualty department.

The only thing I would ever really panic about is a head injury, and by that I mean concussion, not cuts and gashes, although if a cut is bad enough, then it's time for casualty again for stitching.

Oh yeah.. if someone takes a big knock in the family jewels, standard practice for us is to laugh, express a bit of sympathy, ask if he's ok, then quietly giggle to ourselves until the situation returns to normal.

Of course this is the UK. For Spain or Italy add a liberal amount if histrionics with everything. :)
posted by Frasermoo at 1:29 AM on August 3, 2005

In my experience, the two types of injuries are joint sprains and abrasion from falling on the astroturf.

Previous posters have given good answers for joint injury (RICE, get to a sports-medicine clinic), but field rash is probably more common and can be very painful and very bloody. Artificial turf is much worse for bare skin falls than grass. It would be a good idea to have a burn kit in your bag. There are specialized "road rash" kits made for cyclists---you may want to look for those at your local outdoors store.

More important than gear though is training. Do get first aid/CPR certified. Or just recruit an emerg doc to play wing, like we did.
posted by bonehead at 7:18 AM on August 3, 2005

I sprained my ankle recently playing basketball. I couldn't really walk after that, so thankfully someone had an ankle brace around specifically for this reason. It'd be a good idea to get one that fits you and keep it in your bag.
posted by hellbient at 7:55 AM on August 3, 2005

I'll take a first aid course. I was thinking of getting certified as a first responder, anyway, so maybe this is a good idea.

My current kit includes a burn kit with gauze, alcohol wipes, burn gel, antibiotic/anesthetic gel, and tape, two ace bandages, medical shears, two instant-freeze packs, and ibuprofen. It's actually the same kit that I carried as a motorcyclist. I should see if I can get Wade to play for our team, though ... he's a former nurse. *grin*
posted by SpecialK at 12:51 AM on August 4, 2005

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