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Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Educational Initiative on Sickle Cell Trait for the Athletic Population

Sickle Cell Trait

Educational Initiative for the Athletic Population

This website was created with funding from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee. The purpose of this website is to begin an educational initiative to educate coaches, healthcare professionals, parents, and student-athletes on sickle cell trait and the prevention of sudden death. Sickle cell trait should not prevent anyone from participating in athletic activity, however, recent deaths from exertional sickling events in the athlete setting have demonstrated the need for more education. Education and prevention are the key to preventing an exertional sickling event.

Sickle cell trait is a generally benign condition in red blood cells sometimes causing them to carry oxygen differently. Athletes with sickle cell trait run the risk of experiencing exertional sickling events that may have detrimental outcomes. Complications from sickle cell trait while exercising are mostly preventable. This website will help athletes, parents, coaches and healthcare professionals educate themselves and others about sickle cell trait and its potential complications.

The NATA’s Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee supports this initiative with grant funding to start and maintain this website as a hub for all those in need of information regarding sickle cell trait. Together, the NATA and USF Health’s Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine intend to create a space for education and preparation regarding sickle cell trait and the athlete.

Research Information

There is currently a research opportunity for college football players that are sickle cell trait positive. Click here to read an informational flyer and recruitment letter about this NCAA-funded study.