Last Thursday night’s men’s basketball game against Quincy University was
anything but ordinary.
During the second half, junior Quincy guard Scott Hahn lapsed into a seizure minutes after checking out of the game as he sat on the bench next to head coach Marty Bell. 15 minutes of complete silence followed as Quincy and Truman athletic trainers and physicians gave immediate treatment to Hahn as they waited for an ambulance to arrive. Linda Anderson, Truman State Associate Athletics Director, said while the school does not have an official procedure for emergency situations like the one Thursday night, there is an accepted protocol, which was followed during the incident with Hahn.
“Their athletic trainer responds to the situation, our athletic trainer responds to assist in
the situation,” Anderson said. “Our team doctor was at the game so even though we didn’t have
an EMT, we did have a medical professional there to help with different situations.”
Anderson said it wasn’t required for team physician Dr. John Bailey to be in attendance,
though he happened to stay late to watch the game. Bailey was able to reach Hahn quickly and
apply first-response treatment alongside athletic trainers.
Bailey ordered the Department of Public Safety Officers on sight to phone the
ambulance, and since the situation was deemed non-life threatening, the ambulance took about
10 minutes to arrive at the scene with a stretcher.
While for other sports, specifically football, the GLVC requires an Emergency MedicalTechnician on site at every sporting event, the same does not go for conference basketball. In fact, the official handbook of GLVC basketball makes no mention of any required precautions to take for basketball games. The reason lies primarily with the physical nature of the sport. While life-threatening football injuries occur frequent enough to warrant an EMT on site, the same cannot be said for basketball. Anderson says since basketball injuries are almost always treatable by on-sight trainers and physicians, she doesn’t see a need for further precautions to be taken. However, rare situations like Hahn’s Thursday night are not completely unheard of in the basketball world, and sometimes end in disaster. Today is the 24th anniversary of Hank Gathers’ death. Gathers, a college basketball star from Loyola Marymount University collapsed and died on the court during a conference tournament game because of a heart condition. During late January of this year, a high school player from Cement, Okla., collapsed and died during a game because of heart problems. Anderson said Northeast Regional Medical Center’s proximity to campus helps ensure that even without a registered EMT on site, a swift course of action could be taken to help alleviate situations of a life-threatening nature.
“Those situations are so rare,” Anderson said. “In a case like that, our athletic trainer would be the first one to respond. And if it is life-threatening, they’re not going to wait around to decide whether to call the ambulance, we’re just going to call 911 like the real world and the ambulance is going to be there as fast as it can.” Anderson said even though the ordeal was not unexpected, after reviewing the steps Truman took immediately following the seizure with the responding athletic trainers, it was decided that the appropriate measures were taken to ensure Hahn’s safety. Nicole Buck, the head athletic trainer of the men’s basketball team, declined to comment.