We provide you with information to help your patients pursue an active lifestyle that is healthy and safe.

We help you stay abreast of new developments in sports medicine, and provide tools to educate your patients, better inform their decisions and keep them safe.

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Exercise & Health
Nutrition & Hydration
Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Learning Center

Concussion management video A 15-minute video on the importance of understanding concussions and guidelines for removal from play and return to play after a concussion. Stanley Herring, MD, director of SHSI, serves as host.

Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool. A sideline tool to help parents, coaches and athletes recognize a concussion and know when a brain injury is an emergency.

Heads Up: Online Concussion Training for Clinicians The course features interviews with leading experts, dynamic graphics and case studies, and provides an overview of what a health care professional needs to know about concussion in young athletes.

Heads Up resources from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that include:

Can You Predict Future Brain Damage? Hundreds of Pro Fighters Are Helping Researchers Find Out

The ambitious goal: to identify early signs of trauma-induced brain damage from subtle changes in blood chemistry, brain imaging and performance tests — changes that may show up decades before visible symptoms such as cognitive impairment, depression and impulsive behavior. (STAT)

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Concussion Recovery Is Slower in Girls, Mounting Evidence Suggests

Recent findings suggest female children and adolescents are more susceptible to head injuries, and may take longer to recover. (Scientific American)

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Is MRI Needed in Children with a Sports-related Concussion?

The UW’s Rob Bonow, MD, recently spearheaded a study with researchers that reviewed over 5 years of records from pediatric sports concussion patients. The study indicated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children with persistent symptoms after concussion rarely identified brain injury. (

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Head Trauma in High School Football May Be More Complicated Than We Thought

The increasingly polarized discussion over the risks of football has made an honest reckoning of the emerging science difficult. Nevertheless, several common-sense guidelines can be followed today. (Scientific American)

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Movement, play and sports: What are the benefits?

The sports and activities children love often come with risks. But sports, movement and play also yield abundant benefits, and can enhance the physical, mental and social health of children long into the future.

The benefits of physical activity

  • Physical activity in childhood and adolescence can increase muscular strength, improve the ability to perform complex movements, build bone, improve mood, and increase heart and lung fitness.
  • Physical activity can help prevent inactivity-related diseases that occur in childhood, including Type 2 diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, asthma, sleep apnea and depression.
  • Physically active children are more likely to be physically active adults—and less likely to meet an early death or develop heart disease, breast and colon cancer, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, depression, anxiety or osteoarthritis.
  • Physical activity can help to prevent obesity and aid in its treatment.
  • Physical activity leads to better brain structure and function. It can improve thinking and mental performance, including focus, memory, attention and academic achievement.


Learning Center

Exercise Is Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine

Student Athletes Who Specialize Early Are Injured More Often, Study Finds

A study, published in the October issue of The American Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that specialization may increase the risk of injuries for high school athletes by 50% or more. More research will be necessary to definitively answer the question. (NPR)

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Obesity In Children and Teens Rose Sharply Worldwide Over Past 4 Decades

In just over four decades, obesity levels in children and teenagers have risen dramatically worldwide, though that rise has been far from uniform, according to a new study. (NPR)

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This Mistake Can Cost the Lives of Athletes in Cardiac Arrest

Athletes are dying from cardiac arrests that occur during play because teammates, coaches and other bystanders don’t know how to best save their lives, a new study claims. (Chicago Tribune)

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How did Conor McGregor shed weight for his fight against Mayweather?

In order to prepare for his superbout with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor first had to conquer the scale. His nutritionist explains how he prepared for the big fight. (STAT)

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Can You Run So Much You Get Rhabdo and Your Muscles Break Down?

A runner reading about a dangerous side-effect of high-intensity training wonders what her risks are. Dr. William O. Roberts explains the risks, and how to avoid it. (Runner’s World)

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Why a thriving brain needs a lifetime of exercise

There’s growing evidence that brains thrive on regular physical activity all the way from childhood to old age. (Sydney Morning Herald)

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Hydration in the heat for young athletes

Young athletes, their parents and coaches frequently ask about safe ways to hydrate in the heat. They want to know how much to drink and what to drink in training or competition. Confusion can arise from conflicting hydration guidelines and roiling debate. Let me try to clarify.

Muscle cramping in the heat

Muscle cramping can hobble athletes playing in the heat. This painful problem can range from vexing to disabling. Players prone to cramping are urged to salt their food and eat healthful salt-rich foods. Fad remedies can delay proper therapy.

Learning Center

Hydration. This site includes videos and information on hydration, including how to know if an athlete is hydrated, how much to drink and what to drink. (Korey Stringer Institute)

Hydration Kit. This two-page handout lists hydration supplies, from electrolyte freezer pops to pumper-style cooling stations. The handout provides prices and links to websites where individuals or teams can purchase them. (Korey Stringer Institute)

Exercise and fluid replacement. ACSM Position Stand. In-depth information and recommendations on hydration for athletes written by the leading experts in the field. (American College of Sports Medicine)

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Can Ketones Rev Up Our Workouts?

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Risky Stimulants Turn Up—Again—In Weight Loss and Workout Supplements

A new study reports potentially dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients turning up in products that consumers can easily order online or pick up from retail shelves. (STAT)

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 Just How Bad Is Sugar for You, Really?

Why exactly is sugar so bad for you and so hard to avoid? Here’s what you should know about the added sugar that’s lurking in your diet. (University of Washington)

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The High-protein Craze May Actually Carry Some Risks

Experts say some people may be harmed by high-protein diets—but most get plenty of protein in their normal diets, and needn’t add more. (Washington Post)

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How Foods Labeled ‘Healthy’ Can Still Make You Fat

Be careful when you reach for foods labeled “healthy” — new research suggests if they have hidden high levels of sugar, you may snack more later. (HealthDay)

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Pros and Cons You Should Know Before Trying That New Diet

Eliminating seemingly harmful foods is at the core of many popular diets, like veganism or the paleo diet. But is that really necessary? Learn about some of the pros and cons of popular diets to help you make an informed decision. (University of Washington)

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How Much Protein Do We Really Need?

Dr. Elizabeth Kirk, a Ph.D. in nutritional science, breaks down the benefits of protein and how it affects athletes’ overall performance and muscle mass. (University of Washington)

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Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Six Key Facts

Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one cause of sudden death in exercising young athletes.

It usually strikes without warning in individuals with a structural or electrical abnormality of the heart, often inherited. Males, African-Americans and male basketball players are at increased risk.

No method of detecting heart problems in athletes is perfect.

A comprehensive medical history and physical exam is required for all young athletes before they participate in sports. Some medical experts are adding a screening electrocardiogram (EKG) to the standard pre-participation physical exam.

In some cases, warning signs or symptoms can help identify an athlete at risk of a sudden cardiac arrest

Signs of a potentially risky heart condition include fainting or passing out during exercise; excessive shortness of breath or chest pain with exercise; palpitations (heart racing) for no reason; and unexplained seizures.

Until proven otherwise, you should suspect sudden cardiac arrest in any collapsed and unresponsive athlete.

Unless effective emergency steps are taken immediately, death or serious disability will occur.

Every team should have—and practice—an emergency action plan for sudden cardiac arrest.

It is critical to review and practice your emergency action plan in the preseason with all personnel who may be involved in the emergency response.

Life-saving measures include calling 9-1-1, immediate chest compressions (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and shocking the athlete with an AED as soon as possible.

Early initiation of all of these measures is important. Early defibrillation (shock) with an automated external defibrillator (AED) is the most important factor for survival. A few minutes’ delay can be the difference between life and death.

Learning Center


Sudden Cardiac Arrest (video). A seven-minute course to prepare youth coaches and league administrators for an acute sudden cardiac arrest emergency (planning, recognition, screening and four steps to survival). USA Football developed the course, but the information is relevant to basketball, baseball and other sports in which sudden cardiac arrest can occur. The video features University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks team physician Jonathan A. Drezner, M.D.

American Heart Association

American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

National Athletic Trainers Association

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology

Recent News
& More

This Mistake Can Cost the Lives of Athletes in Cardiac Arrest

Athletes are dying from cardiac arrests that occur during play because teammates, coaches and other bystanders don’t know how to best save their lives, a new study claims. (Chicago Tribune)

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Heart Screening for Teens May Cause More Problems than It Solves

Dozens of not-for-profit organizations have formed in the past decade to promote free or low-cost heart screenings for teens. The groups often claim such tests save lives by finding abnormalities that might pose a risk of sudden cardiac death. (NPR)

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Olympic Athletes Have Heart Problems, Too

Some Olympic athletes could be at risk while training and competing because of heart defects or dysfunction that they may not even know about, Italian researchers say. (Reuters Health)

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Institute Launches Consumer Website and E-learning Portal for Coaches in State

The UW Medicine Sports Health and Safety Institute (SHSI) today announced the launch of the UW Medicine eLearning Portal for all Washington state middle school and high school coaches. The site provides state-mandated training on concussion and other key health issues important to active youth. In parallel with the eLearning…

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Bystander CPR Improves Survival and Neurological Outcomes in U.S. Children

A study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests supports conventional CPR (chest compressions and rescue breaths) for children, and finds that white children were significantly more likely to receive bystander CPR than black or Hispanic children. (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

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