Our mission is to provide student-athletes and faculty in the GA community the best possible quality of care. Through a combined effort of our athletic training and strength and conditioning staff, we focus on utilizing cutting edge evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation techniques to enhance healing and performance. We strive to return injured student-athletes to sports participation in an optimal timeframe, placing their overall health and safety above all else. Our team cultivates an environment where we educate GA student-athletes to sustain quality health while pursuing physical growth.
Athletic Training Room Hours (Monday - Friday)
- 12:30 – 2:30pm - ALL Injury evaluations, treatments, and rehabilitation
- 2 – 2:20pm - Tape for away games
- 2:45 – 3:30pm - Tape for home games/practices
- 3:30 – Completion of All Athletic Games - Athletic Trainer on the field for home games/practices
The athletic training room will be open at least 30 minutes prior to all home games (including Saturdays).
NO EVALUATIONS, TREATMENT, or REHAB will be done after school and/or on the field. Students should make it a priority to be in the athletic training room during lunch and/or free periods.
Injuries occurring DURING practice or games will be handled on the field as they occur.
ALL athletes MUST follow the posted schedule unless special arrangements have been made with the athletic trainer ahead of time!
The general assembly of Pennsylvania has passed House Bill No. 1610 which establishes standards for preventing sudden cardiac arrest and death in student athletes. Students participating in or desiring to participate in athletic activity, their parents, and coaches must be educated about the nature and risk of sudden cardiac arrest. A student determined by a game official, coach from the student's team, athletic trainer, licensed physician, or other official designated by the student’s school entity exhibits signs or of sudden cardiac arrest while participating in an athletic activity is required to be removed from participation at that time. The student may not return to play until the student is evaluated and cleared for participation by a licensed physician, certified registered nurse practitioner or cardiologist.
The purpose of this document is to provide you the information required by law relating to sudden cardiac arrest. If you have any questions, please contact the Athletic Training Services as 267-405 symptoms -7238.
What is sudden cardiac arrest?
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. Sudden cardiac arrest usually results from an electrical disturbance in your heart that disrupts its pumping action, stopping blood flow to the rest of your body.
Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to a portion of the heart is blocked. However, a heart attack can sometimes trigger an electrical disturbance that leads to sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, it causes sudden cardiac death. With fast, appropriate medical care, survival is possible. Administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) — or even just rapid compressions to the chest — can improve the chances of survival until emergency personnel arrive.
Signs and Symptoms which may include one or more of the following:
- Racing heart, palpitations
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fainting or seizure, especially during or right after exercise
- Fainting repeatedly or with excitement or startle
- Chest pain or discomfort with exercise
- Excessive, unexpected fatigue during or after exercise
- Excessive shortness of breath during exercise or difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
The following factors increase risk of SCA:
- Family history of known heart abnormalities or sudden death before age 50
- Specific family history of Long QT Syndrome, Brugada Syndrome, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD)
- Family members with unexplained fainting, seizures, drowning or near drowning, or car accidents
- Known structural heart abnormality, repaired or unrepaired
If sudden cardiac arrest is suspected:
- Athlete should be immediately removed from play
- Seek a medical professional
- If needed, begin CPR
- If symptoms continue, call 911
The general assembly of Pennsylvania has passed Senate Bill No. 200 which establishes standards for managing concussions and traumatic brain injuries for student athletes. Students participating in or desiring to participate in athletic activity, their parents, and coaches must be educated about the nature and risk of concussion and traumatic brain injury. A student determined by a game official, coach from the student's team, athletic trainer, licensed physician, licensed physical therapist or other official designated by the student’s school entity to exhibit signs or symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury while participating in an athletic activity is required to be removed from participation at that time. The student may not return to play until the student is evaluated and cleared for participation by an appropriate medical professional with a background in concussion management.
The purpose of this document is to provide you the information required by law relating to concussions. If you have any questions, please contact your Athletic Trainers, at 267-405-7499 or 267-405-7238.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull. Even a “ding,” “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.
Comprehensive Signs/Symptoms for Concussion:
- Loss of consciousness (even briefly)
- Appears dazed or stunned Is confused about events Repeats questions Answers questions slowly
- Cannot recall events PRIOR to hit, bump, fall Cannot recall events AFTER hit, bump, fall Shows behavior and/or personality changes
- Forgets class schedule/assignments/things to do
- Headache or “pressure” in the head
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems or dizziness
- Fatigue or feeling tired Blurry or double vision Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- Numbness or tingling
- Does not “feel right”; feels “out of it”
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling more slowed down
- Felling sluggish, lazy, hazy, foggy
- More emotional than usual
What can happen if my child/player keeps playing with a concussion or returns too soon?
Athletes with the signs and symptoms of concussion should be removed from play immediately. Continuing to play with the signs and symptoms of a concussion leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury. There is an increased risk of significant damage from a concussion for a period of time after that concussion occurs, particularly if the athlete suffers another concussion before completely recovering from the first one. This can lead to prolonged recovery, or even severe brain swelling (second impact syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences. It is well known that adolescent or teenage athletes will often fail to report symptoms of injuries. Concussions are no different. As a result, education of administrators, coaches, parents and students is the key to student-athlete’s safety.
If a concussion is suspected:
Seek medical attention right away. A concussion specialist will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports. Keep your child out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Don’t let your child return to play until a concussion specialist says it’s OK. Children who return to play too soon—while the brain is still healing—risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.
It is OK to:
- Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for head aches
- Use ice pack on head & neck as needed for comfort
- Eat a light diet
- Go to sleep
- Rest (no strenuous activity or sports)
There is NO need to:
- Check eyes with a flashlight
- Wake up every hour
- Test reflexes
- Stay in bed
- Drive while symptomatic
- Exercise or lift weights
- Take ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
If an athlete is on the field and suspected of having a concussion, he/she is removed immediately from play. The athletic trainer (ATC) will perform an on-field assessment. Once a concussion is confirmed, the ATC will give an informational packet to the parent or guardian containing educational materials and a list of local concussion specialists in the area. During the recovery process, the ATC will work with the physician to safely return the athlete to play using a graduated return-to-play program.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.
The National Athletic Trainer’s Association’s position statement calls for taking a rectal temperature of those suspected of having exertional heat stroke. “The only accurate measurements of core body temperature are via rectal thermometry or ingestible thermistors. Other devices, such as oral, axillary, aural canal and temporal artery thermometers, are inaccurate methods of assessing body temperature in an exercising person."
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
- Loss of consciousness (coma)
- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- Very high body temperature
- Fatal if treatment delayed
Take the following steps to treat a student with heat stroke:
- Call 911 for emergency medical care.
- Stay with student until emergency medical services arrive.
- Move the student to a shaded, cool area and remove outer clothing.
- Cool the student quickly with a cold water or ice bath if possible; wet the skin, place cold wet cloths on skin, or soak clothing with cool water.
- Circulate the air around the worker to speed cooling.
- Place cold wet cloths or ice on head, neck, armpits, and groin; or soak the clothing with cool water.
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. People most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working/playing in a hot environment.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Heavy sweating
- Elevated body temperature
- Decreased urine output
Treat a student suffering from heat exhaustion with the following:
- Take student to a clinic or emergency room for medical evaluation and treatment.
- If medical care is unavailable, call 911.
- Someone should stay with student until help arrives.
- Remove student from hot area and give liquids to drink.
- Remove unnecessary clothing, including shoes and socks.
- Cool the student with cold compresses or have the worker wash head, face, and neck with cold water.
- Encourage frequent sips of cool water.
Rhabdomyolysis is a medical condition associated with heat stress and prolonged physical exertion, resulting in the rapid breakdown, rupture, and death of muscle. When muscle tissue dies, electrolytes and large proteins are released into the bloodstream that can cause irregular heart rhythms and seizures, and damage the kidneys.
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include:
- Muscle cramps/pain
- Abnormally dark (tea or cola colored) urine
- Exercise intolerance
Students with symptoms of rhabdomyolysis should:
- Stop activity.
- Increase oral hydration (water preferred).
- Seek immediate care at the nearest medical facility.
- Ask to be checked for rhabdomyolysis (i.e., blood sample analyzed for creatine kinase).
Heat syncope is a fainting (syncope) episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.
Symptoms of heat syncope include:
- Fainting (short duration)
- Light-headedness during prolonged standing or suddenly rising from a sitting or lying position
Students with heat syncope should:
- Sit or lie down in a cool place.
- Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports drink.
Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.
- Muscle cramps, pain, or spasms in the abdomen, arms, or legs.
Students with heat cramps should:
- Drink water and have a snack and/or carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquid (e.g., sports drinks) every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Avoid salt tablets.
- Get medical help if the worker has heart problems, is on a low sodium diet, or if cramps do not subside within 1 hour.
Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.
Symptoms of heat rash include:
- Looks like red cluster of pimples or small blisters
- Usually appears on the neck, upper chest, groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases
Students experiencing heat rash should:
- When possible, a cooler, less humid work environment is best treatment.
- Keep rash area dry.
- Powder may be applied to increase comfort.
- Ointments and creams should not be used.
Germantown Academy is currently implementing an innovative program for our student-athletes. This program will assist our team physicians/athletic trainers in evaluating and treating head injuries (e.g., concussion). In order to better manage concussions sustained by our student-athletes, we have acquired a software tool called EyeGuide Focus.
The EyeGuide Focus is a proprietary hardware & software platform which allows professionals to easily administer a simple, 10-second test to capture eye movement data. The exam is given to athletes prior to the beginning of the athletic season. This non-invasive test is set up utilizing a chinrest and forehead stabilization platform and an iPad for visual “video game” style testing. The test tracks eye movements hundreds of times per second. Each test takes 10 seconds to complete as the student will be asked to follow a dot on the iPad. It is simple, and actually many athletes enjoy the challenge of taking the test.
Poor results do not necessarily indicate a concussion but testing eye movements allows us to track in vast detail one of the six trajectories that may be exhibited as a result of a concussion.
If a trauma occurs, the athlete will be required to re-take the test. Both the preseason and post-injury test data will be available to all clinicians involved in the care of the athlete. The test data will enable these health professionals to determine when return-to-play is appropriate and safe for the injured athlete. If an injury of this nature occurs to your child, you will be promptly contacted with all the details. The information gathered can also be shared with your family doctor as poor results could indicate other physical or cognitive issues.
I wish to stress that the EyeGuide Focus testing procedures are non-invasive, and they pose no risks to your student-athlete. We are excited to implement this program given that it provides us the positive information for managing concussions and preventing potential brain damage that can occur with multiple concussions. The Germantown Academy administration, coaching, and athletic training staffs are striving to keep your child’s health and safety at the forefront of the student athletic experience. Please return the form sent to your home with the appropriate signatures. If you have any further questions regarding this program please feel free to contact me at 267-405-7499 or Joshua.Cramer@germantownacademy.net.
Josh Cramer has been working at Germantown Academy since December 2013, and has been with Novacare Rehabilitation since August 2013. He graduated from Catawba College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree, double majoring in Athletic Training and Communications and minoring in Speech. He became a board certified athletic trainer and then went on to complete his Master of Science degree from The University of Florida in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, specializing in athletic training. Upon completion of his master’s degree, Josh has amassed credentials in sports nutrition, strength and conditioning, weight training, personal training, corrective exercise, orthopedic technology, orthopedic brace technology, clinical exercise physiology, and is an ImPact trained athletic trainer. Currently, Josh is a doctoral candidate at the University of Idaho. The Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) is the only clinical program in athletic training in the country. Josh is an avid tennis player, having participated in the sport through the junior, high school, collegiate, and professional levels and has taught tennis since the age of 16.
267-405–7499 | Email
Bruce McCabe started working at Germantown Academy in September 2015 when he joined the Sports Medicine team at NovaCare Rehabilitation. He graduated from Rowan University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training. He became a board certified athletic trainer and then went on to pursue his Master of Science degree from East Stroudsburg University for Athletic Training: Advanced Clinical Practice. During his time there he worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. While at East Stroudsburg University, Bruce earned a certification in Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM).
Athletic Trainer's Room - Josh Cramer, Head Athletic Trainer: 267-405–7499
Athletic Office: 215-643-7376
Strength & Conditioning Office: 267-405-7562
Main School Number: 215-646-3300
For Emergencies: 267-446-8530
Our healthcare professionals are employees of NovaCare Rehabilitation Services and are contracted by GA to provide daily service to the community.