Football medicine was in the spotlight in Guyana on 18 and 19 February during a FIFA football medicine course in Georgetown.
Two FIFA instructors from South America and two members of the FIFA Medical and Anti-Doping Department ran the two-day course for approximately 30 participants, and Wayne Forde, the President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), was on hand to deliver the closing speech.
The course was aimed at informing medical representatives from the GFF and the region about the newest treatments for football-related injuries and best practices for injury prevention as well as transferring knowledge about tournament medical services and requirements. FIFA instructor Andre Pedrinelli said, “This was a wonderful FIFA initiative to spread our ideas on how to take care of our players”.
It is hoped that this will encourage other football associations to do the same to fulfil FIFA’s commitment to improving the level of football medicine and ensuring the best level of care for all players - everywhere.
A wide range of topics were covered, such as role of the team doctor, minimum stadium medical requirements, injury prevention, pre-competition medical assessment, concussion, and antidoping. A series of practical workshops were also held to focus on clinical examination techniques, case studies, demonstrations of injury prevention programmes and exercises, and assessment of injuries.
Emergency football medicine, including sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), was a particularly important topic. Participants were taught how to remove injured players from the field of play as well as how to manage neck injuries and handle concussion. SCA training included spotting the signs of an SCA, emergency treatment steps as well as preventive measures with hands-on training of CPR and how to use a defibrillator. SCA awareness posters were also distributed.
In addition, the participants were informed about the FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine, a free online course with 42 modules written by international experts designed to help anyone learn how to diagnose and manage common football-related injuries and illnesses.
Course participant Dr Kojo Sandiford said, “The lessons learned here have certainly added to my desire to improve my overall knowledge and skills in sports and exercise medicine, and especially in the area of the beautiful sport of football”.