Medical

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.

Select a Section
Concussion
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:

Doctors Often Skip Discussing Dangers of Driving After Concussion

Most doctors who treat young athletes for concussion know that the injury increases the risk of having a car accident, but barely half counsel their patients against driving, a U.S. study suggests. (Reuters Health)

Read More

Knowledge About Concussions Mixed Among High School Coaches, Athletes

Most high school coaches, athletes and parents do not know that a concussion is a brain injury. But they generally understand the importance of being symptom-free before returning to play and how a concussion affects the risk of future concussions. (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)

Read More

Faulty Positioning in Rugby Tackles Boosts Injury Risk

Head, neck and shoulder injuries during rugby tackles are more common when the tackler’s head is incorrectly positioned in front of the ball carrier. Athletes employing recommended techniques had significantly fewer injuries. (Reuters Health)

Read More

State Laws Have Reduced Concussion Risks In High School Kids, Study Finds

Laws spearheaded by the director of UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute, Stan Herring, MD, and colleagues have led to a noticeable nationwide decline in repeated concussions among teenage athletes. (Washington Post)

Read More

State Laws Have Reduced Concussion Risks In High School Kids, Study Finds

Laws spearheaded by the director of UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute, Stan Herring, MD, and colleagues have led to a noticeable nationwide decline in repeated concussions among teenage athletes. (Washington Post)

Read More

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)

Read More

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.

Understanding Heat Stroke in 7 Steps

Athletes can develop life-threatening exertional heat stroke for a variety of reasons, but virtually none is acceptable among trainers and coaches who put player safety first. Summer training deaths from heat stroke serve as regular, harsh reminders of the importance of knowing how to prevent, recognize and properly treat this devastating condition.

OUR INSTITUTE IS
PROUD TO SERVE AS A
POINT OF CONNECTION 

Cold water baths for heat stroke: Every minute counts

Cooling an overheated athlete fast can be the difference between life and death. The most effective method is cold water immersion. Know how to be prepared for this medical emergency.

Beat the summer heat

In this compilation of stories, find out what science says about training in the summer. Learn what you need to know about proper hydration in the heat, avoiding and treating debilitating heat cramps,  and the prevention, recognition and treatment of life-threatening heat stroke.

Learning Center

Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit. To promote physical activity guidelines, the CDC and others developed this toolkit, which highlights strategies schools, families and communities can use to support physical activity. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Exercise Is Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine

What Happens to Your Body When You Train in Hot-Weather Conditions?

Training in the heat can actually work to your advantage. This inside look explains how athletes use a lab to acclimatize to hot training conditions. (Adventure Sports Network)

Read More

‘This Was Preventable’: Football Heat Deaths and the Rising Temperature

Most states rank poorly on heat safety for their high school football players. Too many teens have paid the price, and temperatures are only getting worse. (InsideClimate News)

Read More

Exercise Can Help Treat Mood Disorders. Here’s Why, and How to Get Started.

A growing body of research shows that exercise can be as effective as medication and psychotherapy in treating mood disorders, depression and anxiety—without the side effects. (Washington Post)

Read More

The States That Exercise Least

The CDC found that the percentage of people who get enough exercise varies greatly by state, from a low of 13.5 percent of adults in Mississippi to a high of 32.5 percent in Colorado. (The Atlantic)

Read More

Smalltown America Seeing More Severe Obesity

During 2013-2016, the prevalence of adult obesity was higher in less populated areas of the U.S., researchers reported. Some 42% of men who resided in metropolitan areas with populations less than 1 million were obese. (MedPage Today)

Read More

You Can Get Even More Out of Strength Training Than Killer Abs

People who strength train for at least two non-consecutive days a week have significantly fewer symptoms of mild to moderate depression, according to a recent review. (Runner’s World)

Read More

Commutes on Foot or Bike Tied to Lowered Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

People who regularly add walking or cycling into parts of a longer commute or journey may reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to a study from the United Kingdom that followed more than 350,000 people for seven years. (Reuters Health)

Read More

America’s Fittest Cities

The 11th annual American College of Sports Medicine fitness index ranked U.S. cities for their residents’ healthy behaviors. The top 5: Arlington, VA; Minneapolis, MN; Washington D.C.; Madison, WI; and Portland, OR. Seattle came in one-tenth of a point behind Portland at #6. (King5)

Read More

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)

Recent News
& More

Young Athletes Should Stay Hydrated, But Too Much Water Can Be Deadly


For Questions About Dietary Supplements, NIH Website Offers Clear Answers

When it comes to dietary supplements, there are often more questions than answers. Although many Americans report using them, their benefits can be questionable. The website of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements addresses such issues. (Washington Post)

Read More

Off Your Mental Game? You Could Be Mildly Dehydrated

A growing body of evidence finds that people who are just a little dehydrated don’t do as well on tasks that require complex processing or a lot of their attention. (NPR)

Read More

That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It’s Probably ‘Carb Rinsing’

Players are notoriously cloistered during the World Cup and are especially loath to speak about their fitness secrets, so the contents of their bottles are not known. But they may be employing a technique called “carb rinsing” or “mouth washing.” (New York Times)

Read More

Risk of Weight-Related Diabetes Reversible in Childhood

Overweight boys who achieved normal weight by the time they were teens seemed to eliminate their heightened risk of adult-onset type 2 diabetes, a new study found. (Medpage Today)

Read More

Year-long Diet Study Finds It’s What You Eat, Not How Much

Research from Stanford University shows that neither low-fat nor low-carb diets are key to sustained weight loss among overweight adults. Instead, it’s back to basics: avoid refined wheat and sugar, and eat more vegetables. (University of Washington)

Read More

Why Is It so Hard to Lose Weight and Keep It Off?

Why exactly are some people able to maintain a healthy weight while others can try and try with no luck? The process of weight gain and weight loss involves a complicated combination of genetics, complex body systems and the environment. (University of Washington)

Read More

Dangers of Energy Drinks for Kids

Energy drinks may be dangerous for kids and young adults, a new survey found. The most common problems included a fast heartbeat, insomnia and headaches. (MedPage Today)

Read More

‘Raw water’ Is the Latest Health Craze. Here’s Why Drinking It May Be a Bad Idea

By shunning recommended water safety practices, raw water purveyors may also be selling things you don’t want to drink that can make you sick. (Washington Post)

Read More

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

Resources

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

Bystander Defibrillator Use Tied to Better Cardiac Arrest Outcomes

Cardiac arrest patients may be more likely to survive and avoid permanent disabilities when bystanders use a defibrillator to treat them before an ambulance arrives, a new study suggests. (Reuters Health)

Read More

A Hoop Player’s Sudden Return from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Fewer than 8 percent of those who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital survive. But this high school basketball player did—because there was an automated external defibrillator on hand and people who knew how to use it. (Rivard Report)

Read More

Abnormal Electrocardiograms Common in NBA Players

Many elite basketball players of the National Basketball Association have abnormal ECG readings even when the latest athlete-specific screening criteria are applied, according to researchers. (Medpage Today)

Read More

Cardiac Arrest Rare In Young Athletes but Tough to Predict

Young athletes have a very low risk of suffering a fatal cardiac arrest. But more important, researchers found that more than 80 percent of cases probably won’t be caught through “pre-participation screening” that includes electrocardiograms to detect electrical abnormalities in the heart. (HealthDay)

Read 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)

Read More

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)

Read More

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)

Read More