Heron, N and Cupples, ME (2014) The health profile of football/soccer players in Northern Ireland – a review of the uefa pre-participation medical screening procedure. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 6 (1). ISSN 2052-1847

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It is compulsory that domestic football/soccer teams in UEFA competitions organise players’ pre-participation medicals. Although screening guidelines have been established, these remain controversial. The findings of medical examinations can have lasting consequences for athletes and doctors. No previous studies have reported UEFA pre-participation screening results in semi-professional footballers. This study aims to further knowledge regarding ‘normal’ data in this population.

Retrospective audit and analysis of records of pre-season medicals for all male first-team players at one semi-professional Northern Ireland Premiership team between 2009-2012. Medicals were conducted by the club doctor following the UEFA proforma. Height, weight, blood pressure (BP), full blood count (FBC), dipstick urinalysis and resting electrocardiogram (ECG) were conducted by an independent nurse. Only one ECG must be documented during a player’s career; other tests are repeated yearly.

89 medicals from 47 players (6 goalkeepers, 11 defenders, 22 midfielders and 8 attackers; mean age 25.0 years (SD 4.86)) were reviewed. Mean height of the players was 179.3 cm (SD 5.90) with a mean weight of 77.6 kg (SD 10.5). Of 89 urine dipsticks, 7 were positive for protein; all 7 were normal on repeat testing following 48 hours of rest. Of 40 ECGs (mean ventricular rate 61.2 bpm (SD 11.6)), one was referred to cardiology (right bundle branch block; prolonged Q-T interval). No players were excluded from participation.

This study provides important information about ‘normal’ values in a population of semi-professional footballers. Urinalysis showing protein is not uncommon but is likely to be normal on repeat testing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © Heron and Cupples; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014 This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pre-participation medical screening, Sudden cardiac death, Football, Soccer, UEFA, Prevention, Family doctors, General practitioners (GPs)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Primary Care Health Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2019 15:57
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 14:37
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5881

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