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Cleveland Clinic preps for fall sports season through intense injury simulation training workshops

Workshop aims to improve emergency responses to serious injuries
Sports injury clinic 1.jpg
Posted at 6:22 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 06:22:36-04

CLEVELAND  — The Cleveland Clinic is actively working to stay ahead of the curve and prep for the fall and winter sports seasons by hosting a series of catastrophic sports injury simulation labs.

It's that of a workshop to help improve emergency responses for serious injuries that happen on the field during high school and collegiate sporting events.

“It’s really all about being prepared," said Dr. Thomas Waters, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic Main Campus Emergency Department and Medical Team Physician for the Cleveland Guardians.

Fanned out across a field at John Carroll University, Cleveland Clinic residents, physicians, and trainers got to work.

They jumped into action to perform life-saving measures on what, at first glance, appeared to be a football player fighting for his life.

It looks legitimate, but it’s all a drill.

“It’s really important for us to get out and practice, rehearse and review our skills every year," said Waters.

The hands-on, real-life training experience came straight from the catastrophic sports injury simulation lab.

Waters and Dr. Paul Saluan developed the program 10 years ago—working hand in hand with Cleveland Clinic’s Sports Medicine and Simulation Lab Team.

It was created to help residents and fellows be prepared before the whistle even blows at a sporting event.

“They voiced concerns about their worry about catastrophic injuries occurring on the field," said Saluan, Director of Cleveland Clinic Sports Medicine, Community Affairs and Education.

In another exercise—participants strapped a simulated player to a gurney, but things went awry, as the player became ill.

The simulated players look like mannequins, but through advanced technology they react just like an injured person would.

It's something Waters says takes the training experience to new levels.

“They can talk to them, they have pulses, they breathe, they blink," said Waters.

The doctors behind the program say the training and experience are truly invaluable and should bring peace of mind to all parents as their kids hit the field this upcoming season.

“It's all about being ready for these injuries before they happen," said Saluan.

The skills learned at this simulation lab are utilized in real life, as well.

Saluan told News 5--one of the trainers that participated in the class saved a referee's life.

He was having a heart attack, and the trainer was able to recognize the symptoms and quickly administer life-saving measures.

Cleveland Clinic officials plan to continue hosting this event for years to come.