Background: Historically, there has been disagreement among various healthcare disciplines, including emergency medical technicians (EMTs), certified athletic trainers (ATCs), sports chiropractors, and sports medicine physicians, on the appropriate management of an athlete with a suspected spinal injury. Commonly, each of these groups used their own protocols, which differed from one another. A consensus had yet to be established. Therefore, the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) formed the Inter-Association Task Force for Appropriate Care of the Spine-Injured Athlete (IASTF), by bringing together 31 distinct healthcare disciplines to form a consensus on the pre-hospital management of the suspected spine-injured athlete.
Objective: To briefly discuss various studies that were utilized to help guide the panel and to present the specific guidelines and recommendations that were set forth by the panel. methods: A task force representative from each of the invited organizations was sent to the summit to develop the guidelines. After discussion of each guideline point, it was voted on, and unanimously approved. conclusion: Chiropractors are playing an increasing role in the immediate care and treatment of athletes at all levels. These guidelines should be reviewed, understood, disseminated and utilized by chiropractors and other sports medicine professionals at every level of play.