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LEBANON - Athletic trainers played an important role last year in treating the injured during the Boston Marathon bombing. They are there to prevent or treat injuries when an athlete gets hurt on the field or when school nurses or medical crews aren't available.
In an effort to improve school safety and security, Atrium Medical Center certified athletic trainer Kathy Reed, who works at Lebanon High School, spearheaded an initiative to obtain first-aid supplies and assemble multiple triage kits placed throughout the campus.
"I suggested to the school that triage kits placed strategically throughout the building could be of benefit in an emergency situation," she said. "These kits, when used by trained professionals, can supplement care provided by first responders - especially before those responders arrive on site."
The kits contain supplies helpful in injury care until trained emergency medical technicians arrive. Through a combination of classroom and clinical instruction complemented by clinical experience, athletic trainers can provide health care to students.
"Athletic trainers can help give peace of mind to parents, students and school staff on and off the athletic fields," said Brian Robinson, a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association's Secondary School Athletic Trainers' Committee and a high school athletic trainer himself. "Because they work on school grounds and at other school-sponsored athletic events, they are there to provide immediate, quality health care services... They quickly and expertly assess injuries, stabilize injured students and provide life-saving measures."
The school got donations from area businesses - including Cramer Sports Medicine, Lebanon team physician Dr. Tim Linker and the Atrium Medical Center - to assemble the kits.
Reed said she got the idea after attending a professional development session.
"Being a parent myself, I wanted to help Lebanon City Schools be even better prepared for an emergency situation."
According to Lebanon High School Principal Scott Butler, Reed's initiative spread, and, with the help of the district's parent-teacher organizations, all Lebanon schools now have kits in the school buildings.
"I think these kits enhance our safety plan because in the case of a catastrophic event, minutes can mean the difference between life and death," he said. "Every second of first aid applied counts and can help until the medics arrive."
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