Ohio Medical and Sports Experts Unite at FirstEnergy Stadium to Advance Lifesaving Measures for the State's High School Athletes

Up to 90 percent of sudden deaths among high school student-athletes are preventable with best practice policies

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To promote and advance the "Team up for Sports Safety" initiative, the Browns hosted multiple Ohio medical and sports experts Wednesday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) brought together dozens of Ohio's top experts in medicine and sports to develop a policy to advance medical practices proven to reduce sport-related deaths. Representatives from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), Ohio Athletic Trainer's Association (OATA), sports medicine physicians, high school administrators, coaches, and other key personnel joined to discuss ways to make high school sports safer across Ohio.

The research provided by the Korey Stringer Institute, supported by the NFL and National Athletic Trainer's Association, has shown that nearly 90 percent of all sudden death in sports is caused by four conditions: sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injury, exertional heat stroke, and exertional sickling. To date, states mandate an average of 53.8 percent of policies proven to reduce deaths caused by these conditions. Ohio currently mandates 47.9 percent of the best practice policies.

Rob Flannery, Cleveland Browns Team Physician and Director of High School and Community Outreach and Education for University Hospitals, was also in attendance.

"The Cleveland Browns and I are very excited to be part of a meeting that can impact every student-athlete, in every high school in the state of Ohio," Flannery said. "The hope is that those recommendations will make mandatory all of the best practices in the area of student-athlete health and safety. Through the Team Up for Sports Safety initiative, we can make a better and safer sports environment for all our athletes and if that saves just one life, then it makes this all worthwhile."

The meeting helped yield best-practice policy language which will be proposed to the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Ohio is the 28th state KSI has visited to work with to propel health and safety policy adoption. States who have hosted TUFSS meetings ended up increasing their best practice policy adoption rate by over double of those that did not host meetings when compared across the same period.

For more information regarding the Team Up for Sports Safety Initiative, please visit https://ksi.uconn.edu/outreach/team-up-for-sports-safety/.

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