TV6 INVESTIGATES: Medical professionals not required at sporting events in Iowa or Illinois

Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 5:22 PM CST
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A Princeton, Illinois football player is considering himself lucky after a weekend neck injury during a state playoff game on Saturday.

The injury happened when sophomore Max Taylor went to make a tackle during the game. He was carried off the field by paramedics and taken to the hospital. His mother and the football coach said Taylor suffered a fracture of his C7 vertebra. According to a TV6 Producer who was at the game Saturday, an ambulance was not at the stadium, which as TV6 Investigates Chris Carter found out, is not uncommon.

Neither Iowa or Illinois laws require schools to provide medical professionals at school events, however; Illinois does recommend having one, whether that be an athletic trainer, an EMT or another properly trained medical professional.

Schools in both stations are required to have an emergency action plan though. That is a plan for when an incident may happen. While the recommendations differ, they require similar things such as a list of personnel roles which includes who is CPR and first aid certified, a communication plan for calling emergency services and who has access to contact information for parents and a plan for communicating issues. The emergency action plan should also include player medical information and a plan for dealing with incidents.

The Princeton School Superintendent told TV6 on Monday that it has an athletic trainer on staff and one of the coaches is an EMT. The fire department said they used to stage at sporting events but stopped several years ago when there was a new push for the use of athletic trainers.

According to Taylor’s family, his fracture is considered a stable fracture and there is no risk of more damage as it is right now, but if things change, it could require surgery.