Emergency Management of Sports Equipment

Football equipment generally protects the athlete. However, after injury, the facemask is a barrier to treatment of the injured athlete's airway and shoulder pads block access to the chest. Researchers from NHMI, the University of New Hampshire and other institutions have collaboratively performed several studies investigating the best tools and methods for facemask removal and research in this area is ongoing. NHMI Board member Erik Swartz and Executive Director Laura Decoster are currently working with other researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill to identify the best approaches to providing lifesaving care for critically-injured football players. This video describes a recently-completed research project which was supported by a grant from NFL Charities.

In 2011, a manuscript in this line won 1st Runner Up for the Journal of Athletic Training's Kenneth L. Knight Award for Outstanding Manuscript.
Click Here to read the full text of this paper. Click Here to watch a video about this research.

Football Helmet, Facemask, and Shoulder Pad Designs: Implications for Acute Airway and Cardiovascular Care in Medical Emergencies. NFL Charities Grant Received. Abstracts: Effectiveness of Chest Compressions in Various Football Equipment Conditions

The Difference in Head and Helmet Motion during an Emergency Management Maneuver: Does the Helmet Immobilize the Head?

A Comparison of Chinstrap Removal Techniques for an American Football Athlete with a Suspected Cervical Spine Injury.

Head Acceleration caused by Chinstrap Removal during Emergency Management of Football Equipment.

A Comparison of Head Acceleration, Time and Difficulty during Helmet Removal With and Without Facemask Removal.

An Investigation of the Time Required to Completely Remove Football Equipment and Clothing and Insert Rectal Thermometer Probe.

Velocity and Acceleration of the Head during Emergency Shoulder Pad Removal

A Comparison of Emergency Facemask and Helmet Removal Effectiveness with Various Football Helmets and Facemask Attachment Systems

The Effects of Equipment Design on Cervical Spine Motion, Removal Time, and Difficulty during Football Shoulder Pad Removal

Facemask Removal is Safer than Helmet Removal in American Football

Deflation of Air Bladders Slows Emergency Football Helmet Removal

A Study of Emergency American Football Helmet Removal Techniques

Maintaining Neutral Sagittal Cervical Alignment after Football Helmet Removal during Emergency Spine Injury Management

Prehospital Emergency Removal of Football Helmets Using Two Techniques

Emergency Medical Service Activations by Certified Athletic Trainers

Facemask Removal: Traditional vs. Quick Release

In-Season Success Rate and Time Required for Football Facemask Removal

Combined Tool Approach is 100% Successful for Emergency Football Facemask Removal

The Influence of Various Factors on Football Helmet Facemask Removal

Football facemask removal using a cordless screwdriver

Football equipment design affects face mask removal efficiency