View Full Version : Medical know-how?

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alex padilla
06-10-2006, 09:18 AM
I just read the story on panic attack and prompted me to ask: Do Aikido instructors need medical know-how in the dojo?

I have this same story of panic attack in the dojo. It was I think 2 or 3 years ago when I was leading a class. Everything was going smoothly until the time for forward rolls was interrupted.
There was this student who was 19 at that time. I see him in most sessions so as to point out that he's probably active. We were doing 8 forward rolls and when he reached his 7th roll, he stopped for a while, after then he pushed further to finish the last roll after finishing the last roll, it was visible that he seemed dizzy. He stands straight then headed for the chair near the door while semi screaming "Everythings turning. I don't feel good!" At that point I went to him and ask if he is alright. He then said "Bleed me!" then I said what? He then stands up again and took a needle in his bag and punctured his fingers to produce blood, he pricked almost all of his fingers while saying that this is normal for him. He then asked for calci-block, it just happen that there is someone who has it at that time. At that point, I intervened and asked him of previous illness and he said there was none. I told him not to take the calci-block because I don't know what it's for and I'm no doctor. He then went hysterical and kept saying "I'm going to die!". He was interrupting the session and even If I asked my peers to lead they all got distracted and looked his way. I then asked two of the junior blackbelts to rush him to the hospital, and monitor the event. We contacted his parents and found out that his parents never knew that he was enrolled in a martial art activity. They did not tell us why he should not be enrolled. It also shows that he forged his parents signature, in the under 21 yrs. of age section. The 2 blackbelts returned and said that as soon as the parents arrived they were told to leave. We never heard from him again nor the parents.

It is the instructors responsibility in the time of the session to look over the students. In cases of asking for medicine I think a doctor's advice is needed? What do you guys think?

06-10-2006, 02:12 PM
A knowledge of first aid is useful for those minor injuries that may occur in the dojo, but it is unreasonable to expect that trained medical personnel be on hand. Anyone can pick up the phone and dial 911 if there is an emergency. This situation does make clear the need for medical waivers to be signed, so that each individual student is made responsible for his own welfare when training, and so that any existing medical conditions which warrant the attention of the instructor can be stated up front. As for the forgery of parents signatures, that is regrettable but preventable, if you require a face-to-face discussion with the parents, rather than just sending home a form to sign.

Ari Bolden
06-10-2006, 02:53 PM
Hello Alex:

In my opinion, I think all instructors should have basic first aid and CPR. It's cheap and takes one day of your time.

This allows you to:

Understand basic medical needs should they arise

Cover your butt in case of some legal mishap (you can prove you did your due diligence in the matter should the courts get involved)

Allow you to stay calm if someone is injured (ie: broken bone, bleeding nose).

I don't expect senseis to perform brain surgery on the mat; however they should know how to care for those in a reasonable manner should a medical situation occur.

My 2 cents


Ari Bolden

PS: Over the past 20 years, injuries and mishaps have lead me to read up on a variety of situations and medical problems related to the martial arts. Students will often ask "sensei, I have a sore elbow..or my joints hurt..or I broke my toe...what can I do?"

Knowing excersises or good old fashioned cures sure helps on the mat.

Example: A very common injury on the mat is the "busted toe". Ice it, elevate it, buddy tape it to another toe and perhaps wear wrestling shoes while it heals...

Janet Rosen
06-10-2006, 11:25 PM
In my opinion, I think all instructors should have basic first aid and CPR. It's cheap and takes one day of your time.
I really agree with this!
As a nurse I was frustrated that there was no protocol in place where i trained so I developed one and we posted it on the dojo bulletin board along w/ local hospital info.
I also believe that emergency contact info--both family/friend and medical--should be on every dojo signup form. It should be noted that if any medical info like diagnosis, allergies, meds, etc are listed, that info is CONFIDENTIAL and cannot be placed where other students can see it.

alex padilla
06-11-2006, 02:10 AM
Thanks all for the reply.
As for me I just gather all info I can regarding the possible medical happening in the dojo, from books and friends only.
In the case of my country which don't have 911, I collected the numbers of the three doctors who are also practitioners so that it can be easy to explain that it happen in the dojo without explaining to the doctor what is aikido.