Internal Illnesses

It would be very difficult to cover every possible illness on this page. Below is a table with a few of the common ones that we have seen or heard about at soccer practices. Most are covered on sports injury courses, which we recommend you take. For better advice, take a sports first aid course.

Injury
Description
Signs
Treatment
Concussion
Direct or indirect blow to head.All coaches are required to have annual concussion training in Colorado and some other states.
Dizziness, dull to severe headache, ringing in ears, loss of consciousness, loss of memory, disorientation, convulsions, neurological signs.
Seek immediate medical help.If neck or back injuries are also suspected, do not move.
Heat Exhaustion
Overheating and dehydration of body.
Body temperature normal, skin pale and clammy, profuse perspiration, tired and weak, headache, nausea, dizziness, possible fainting.
Give water (1/2 glass per 15 minutes) over 1 hour. Lie player down with feet raised 1-12 inches, loosen clothing, apply cool wet cloths, take to air conditioned area. If player vomits seek immediate medical attention.
Heat Stroke
Serious overheating and dehydration.
Body temperature is high, skin is hot, red and dry, sweating mechanism is blocked, pulse is rapid and weak. Player may be unconscious.
Seek immediate medical help. Cool body down, apply cold packs and sponge to skin, use cold bath (no ice) or air conditioning. May have to treat for shock.
Hypothermia
A decrease in the core body temperature to a level at which normal muscular and cerebral functions are impaired.
Shivering, loss of motor functions, stumbling speech, irrational behavior.
Add clothing, shelter player from weather, give food and drink, take to heated environment (car, room). Seek Medical Help.
Hyperventilation
Rapid or deep breathing, usually caused by anxiety or panic.
Rapid breathing, panic.
Calm player down, reassure. Reduce oxygen intake by slowing breathing and encouraging to breath through pursed lips. Do not use paper bag.
Asthma / Breathing issues
Difficulty breathing. Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease in which the airways become sensitive to allergens.
Tightening of airways leads to difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing, and panic.
Seek Medical Help. Remove blockages if possible, open body posture to encourage deeper breathing. If asthma – take inhaler if available.
Lightning / Burns
Whole range of injuries, both internal and external. Large, bright, loud electrical bolt from the sky is a good clue. Unconcious patient, burns could be visible. CPR if not breathing. Seek immediate medical help.
Cramps
Involuntary contraction of a muscle/group that is repetitive and rapid in nature.
Repetitive pain in muscle, player attempting to stretch muscle.
Hydrate player and exert firm pressure with your hands on cramped muscle. Gentle massage to relieve spasm.
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