Analysis of best practice procedures to prevent sudden death in high school athletics: a regional assessment.
Objective: The analyze the adherence to best practice recommendations through the implementation of specific policies and procedures to prevent sudden death and identify barriers preventing implementation. Design and Setting: This is a mixed methods research design utilizing a survey and semi-structured interviews to provide data. This study examined secondary schools in District V of the NATA (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota). Subjects: Participants were athletic administrators in secondary school athletic programs in the 7-state region. (n=151) Measurements: Surveys were distributed and collected utilizing Qualtrics and results were analyzed using one-way ANOVAs. Interviews were transcribed and coded to identify commonality in the themes. Results: Significant difference existed in the availability of personnel when considering the urbanization classification and enrollment size of the school. Financial constraints and time availability severely impacted the implementation of best practice recommendations. Conclusions: Legislative policies regarding the implementation of best practices to prevent sudden death are needed to improve adherence and protect student athletes from serious life-threatening injuries and to protect the school from potential liability.