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What happens if a student gets injured while playing intramurals?

Hayes Rule, Social Media Editor

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After throwing an interception, Andrew Sowerbrower became a defender. Chasing down the small flag fluttering on the side of his opponent’s waist, Sowerbrower took a stumble during his pursuit.

He broke his kneecap.

“I was like, ‘Are you OK?’” said Brittany Mueller, an intramural supervisor at the flag football game. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, I just can’t move.’ So the ambulance had to come.”

According to Mueller, Sowerbrower was rushed into surgery the next day for his injury. Severe injuries such as Sowerbrower’s are not common in intramurals, but they do occur.

Mueller, who is now the student director of marketing for intramurals, said they usually call the ambulance a maximum of three times a year. It’s protocol for supervisors if an injured player cannot move or is incoherent.

Michael Castaneda, the assistant director of Recreational Sports and Wellness at Mercer, said his staff will first make sure that someone goes with the injured player to the hospital.

“We first see if it’s a friend,” Castaneda said. “If they don’t have a friend or someone to go with them, our staff will go with them and then contact myself or Todd [Thomas] and let us know. And then we would go to whatever hospital they would be and stay there until someone they know is there to be there with them.”

Sophomore Maddie Derrick was forced to go to the hospital because of a concussion, but she didn’t go until the day after suffering her injury.

Playing women’s 5 vs. 5 basketball, Derrick was elbowed in the eye with three minutes remaining in the game. She called a timeout right away and finished the game before receiving treatment.

“I called a timeout pretty quickly, so it didn’t give the officials much time to do anything,” Derrick said. “If I had given it more time, they probably would have called some type of foul . . . the supervisors got me some ice as soon as the game was over and they took a report and everything.”

Derrick is an intramural referee herself and said they followed the protocol for her injury. She suffered a concussion her junior year of high school, so she knew what it felt like.

“The staff got me some ice, but by the time I got home I was dizzy, had a headache [and] I was nauseous,” Derrick said. “So I was really tired and went to sleep. My roommate, Natalie Barker, woke me every couple hours.”

Castaneda said all intramural supervisors are trained for CPR and first aid, but they will never go beyond their certification in trying to treat an injury.  

“Concussions and stuff like that, they know our protocol to ask questions to [see if] they know where they are,” Castaneda said. “But most of the time — like I said, when it’s something more serious — we at least tell them that we believe they should go to the hospital. If it’s someone who’s very incoherent, then we’ll just make the call for them.”

Mueller said the first thing supervisors do is check to see if the player can be moved off the playing field; if they can, they move the player and stop the game. If the participant can’t move, all actions stops immediately.

After receiving treatment — such as ice or wrapping — the players fills out an injury report on the supervisor’s iPad.

“That way, if they need to get in contact with anybody, we call [Mercer Police], who calls the ambulance, and then the ambulance comes on,” Mueller said.

Mueller said she has never personally had to go to the hospital with a player. But she believes her time as an intramural supervisor will reap benefits.

“It’s good that I know how to handle that, especially going past this I’m CPR certified, and that’s good for two years, and I was actually certified again in August of this year, so that will last,” Mueller said. “I know what to do if that ever happens in the future.”

 

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What happens if a student gets injured while playing intramurals?