Preseason planning is the most important facet of sideline preparedness. It should promote safety and minimize routine prob lems associated with athletic participation as well as emergency situations. All personnel who have the potential to be involved with the medical care of athletes (e.g., athletic trainers, coaches) should use this time to maintain their training in cardiopul-monary resuscitation and basic first aid as a minimum requirement. Additional training in advanced cardiac life support and advanced trauma life support is strongly recommended for team physicians. The goals of the sports medicine team's preseason planning should include the following2:
• All athletes complete a preparticipation evaluation by a licensed physician
• Development of a chain of command that establishes and defines the responsibilities of all parties involved
• Establishment of an emergency response plan for practice and competition
• Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards relevant to the medical care of the athlete
• Establishment of a policy to assess environmental concerns and playing conditions for modification or suspension of practice or competition
• Compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations regarding storing and dispensing pharmaceuticals
• Establishment of a plan to provide for proper documentation and medical record keeping
• Regular rehearsal of the emergency response plan
• Establishment of a network with other health care providers, including medical specialists, athletic trainers, and allied health professionals
• Establishment of a policy that includes the team physician in the dissemination of any information regarding the athlete's health
• Preparation of a letter of understanding between the team physician and the administration that defines the obligations and responsibilities of the team physician
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