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Posted in: General

Treating an injured player. Was I right or wrong in this situation?

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  • pippaglen

    Good morning guy's! What do you do when you think your having one of those weeks when nothing is going the way you want it too, nothing is moving smoothly and you feel everything is against you.


    I'm sure this week can only get better. 

    Tuesday evening I was coaching a afterschool basketball session,  great to see so many participants attending the session, however 15 minutes into a game one of the players injured his fingers trying to catch the ball, I asked him if he was OK to which he replied I think so,  I assessed the players fingers and at that time seemed OK but told him to get an ice pack. A few minutes later and a rest the player came to me and said I'm OK now again I looked at his fingers again seem fine he was able to move them around freely,  I allowed the player to play but within minutes he was back off court and said miss I think I need to phone my mum I think I have broken my finger. I assessed his fingers again to which we both thought it was best he sort professional medical advice.  The child phoned his parents to pick him up.   I couldn't leave the 14 other boys  as I was on my own,  neither of the parents come to me to ask what had happened,  I didn't have any witenesses to witness the incident apart from the players on court.

    For first aid I hand wrote the  event as I was working until late that night and did a accident log which I sent the following day. 

    My boss received a email saying that a pupil had fractured / dislocated his finger and was taken to hospital to which the mother wasn't happy as I allowed him to carry on playing.  

    As I'm first aid trained and not medical profession,  

    Was I right to allow the child to play after telling  me he was OK

    What would you have done in this situation.

    How many of your players have had injuries and you have allowed to play.

    Are we as parents quick to make judgments when something goes wrong. 



  • David_T

    I had a problem about a year ago where an athlete, this time an adult who should have known better, broke his finger with a medicine ball.  I said I think it is broken and needs to be professionally reset.

    He decided to ignore this and made a splint out of a bookies pencil and went home - a few days later he admitted it was broken and had to be reset and he then had to miss much more training because of the delay.

    I can't force people to go to hospital as a coach and I am also not a trained medical professional.

    In your case Emma, you asked the child and he wanted to play on, when he expressed further discomfort and you intervened.

    If the parent wants you to be an expert coach and a medical professional, then i'm sure that would make coaching session costs each parent £100/hour!

  • pippaglen

    Thanks David,  It just goes to show apart from the planning and the coaching how much accidents can effect you personally and mentally when it goes wrong,   this is my first ever accident in 7 years of coaching so it has knocked me back a little  

    I'm a first aider at all the home basketball games which makes me think  am I doing my job as a coach right,  the thing is even if you are a first aider how many times a day do you deal with accidents apart from the odd child falling over grazing there leg. 

  • David_T

    First Aid means exactly that though - not diagnose and treat!

    I hope all of this gets resolved quickly and your boss has supported you Emma



  • pippaglen

    The crazy thing is David I'm leaving my job in a weeks time, I hope it gets resolved before I leave.  My boss hasn't been too bad in supporting me let's hope all is resolved.  

  • David_T

    Do let me know if there is anything I can do

  • pippaglen

    Thank you David for your support as always.  

  • AndyEdwards

    Hi Emma,

    I hope your week has got better! I am pretty sure I would have acted in exactly the same way as you. I certainly have acted in a very similar way in different situations over the years.

  • pippaglen

    Thanks Andy my problem is I'm being even more over protective ,  I think within all sports there's always going to be a element of different injuries from a scratch to the more serious.  I can always remember playing Hockey at secondary school and another pupil hitting me in the middle of my back with the hockey stick. I wasn't give first aid or cold pack.  The question is. 

    Are we too over protective of our children in today's world? 

    Are we not protecting enough? 

  • andrewb62

    hi Emma

    I do sympathasise - something similar happened to me (a player was hit in the face with a cricket ball that bounced erratically off the edge of an artificial pitch). I was by myself, so I terminated the session to look after the player, until his father arrived to take him home.

    This was quite a while ago (late '80s - pre mobile phones, pre incident report forms, pre parental complaints) but it put me off coaching by myself. In fact, it was nearly 20 years before I got back into coaching on a regular basis.

    But as you say - as a first aid-qualified coach you can only do so much (and I think you did all you could). I guess you might insist that any player who is hurt has to sit out the rest of the session, but unless there is an obvious external injury, or for a blow to the head, the player's word is the only guide you have.

    FWIW - I have been advised to avoid ice and cold sprays as "first aid", because their use can mask serious injuries. A numbed finger won't hurt any more, but it could still easily be chipped or broken. I do still use cold water for a cut or graze, but only to clean a wound and until the bleeding stops.

    Interestingly, the NGB for my sport now stipulate that a minimum of two responsible adults should be present for ALL practice sessions and matches involving children, this in addition to the requirement for suitably qualified coaches at a ratio appropriate to the age of the players and the activities planned for the session.

    I'm not actually sure of  the definition of "responsible" - in the context that I heard it, I assume this could mean "DBS checked and with appropriate and current Safeguarding and First Aid certification".

    These requirements do place a burden on the club providing the coaching (finding one responsible adult can be a challenge, let alone two), but without it I'm not sure I would feel comfortable leading sessions with children.

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