Use of a Progressive On-Field Neurological Assessment Algorithm (PONAA) to assess injured athletes for blunt cervical spine injury in the prehospital setting.

Although the rate of catastrophic head and neck injuries remain low in sports, they do happen; on average 54 times per year, and not just in football1. In some cases, the direct traumatic event necessarily results in a catastrophic outcome. But for some, accurate assessment and proper acute prehospital care and management may improve outcomes. Therefore, sports medicine providers must be prepared to conduct a thorough on-field cervical spine injury assessment in order to gather important information to guide appropriate clinical decision-making regarding differential diagnosis and proper acute management. SMC’s PONAA is a clinical decision-making tool that we will be covering in this program. This program examines implementation of a best practice approach to initial on-field injury management of a potentially cervical spine injured athlete and the use of the PONAA to exclude injury to the cervical spine.

Course Objectives:

  1. Become familiar with the PONAA steps and rationale.
  2. Identify when a “fuse” is blown, requiring further medical attention.
  3. Complete a full PONAA assessment from start to finish.

BOC Credit Hours: 1

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