Oklahoma House of Representatives
September 13, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Joe Dorman
Capitol: (405) 557-7305
Dorman Urges Schools to Recruit Medical Volunteers
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Joe Dorman urged schools today to start recruiting medical volunteers for school sporting events.
House Bill 1658, authored by Dorman, will take effect on Jan. 1 and will allow health care professionals to volunteer at secondary school sporting events without fear of being sued.
“The new law will give medical volunteers protection under the Good Samaritan Act,” Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said. “For this reason, I urge parents to ensure that a volunteer is on hand at their school sporting events to address any serious injury that might occur.”
Dorman cited the case of a Portland , Ore. , football player who suffered a heart attack and was brought back to life by a cardiac nurse who happened to be in the stands.
“When someone suffers a serious head or heart injury, the response time plays a critical role in whether or not that individual survives it,” Dorman said. “A young football player in Rush Springs , Justin Barney, died from a head injury. No medical professional was on hand, and it could have made the difference. One thing that people aren’t aware of is that there are not enough ambulances in the state to cover all of the high school sporting events that regularly occur. Even though the law has not yet taken effect, it is very important to have a volunteer with medical training on hand.”
The Oklahoma Athletic Trainers’ Association estimates that 25 percent of student athletes statewide will miss either practice or competition due to a head injury. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3.9 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur nationally each year.
Dorman also encouraged parents to contact their school and athletic program administrators to encourage coaches to take advantage of a free online program called ACTive, provided by the Oregon Center for Applied Science. The program trains them in protecting student athletes from concussions. To enroll, coaches can go to http://activecoach.orcasinc.com/.
“With so many concussions occurring annually, I think it is imperative that our local coaches participate in a program to better protect their athletes,” Dorman said. “Please help me get out the word on this issue.”