INTRODUCTION: Long regarded as "America's Past Time", over 8.6 million children partake in organized and recreational baseball. Although improved equipment has reduced contemporary injury rates, nearly half of pediatric baseball injuries requiring hospitalization are due to craniofacial trauma. Sideline personnel at the youth levels, often without advanced medical training, frequently act as first-responders in instances of acute craniofacial injury. METHODS: An IRB-approved survey was distributed nationally to target field personnel working at youth, high school, collegiate, and professional baseball levels. Survey items included: comfort in assessing subtypes of acute craniofacial trauma (loss of consciousness (LOC), skull injury, orbital injury, nasal injury, and dental injury) via Likert scale, years of medical training, presence of an emergency action plan (EAP), and access to higher level care from emergency medical services (EMS) or a nearby hospital. RESULTS: When comparing the amateur and professional cohorts, the respondents from professional teams were significantly more confident in assessing LOC (P = 0.001), skull injury (P < 0.001), orbital injury (P < 0.001), nasal injury (P < 0.001), and dental injury (P < 0.001). The professional teams had significantly more years of first aid training (P < 0.0001) and were significantly more likely to have an EAP (P < 0.0001). Professional teams also had a significantly higher average of reported craniofacial incidents (P = 0.0279). CONCLUSION: The authors identified a significant disparity in comfort level between amateur and professional baseball field personnel for identifying and managing acute craniofacial trauma. Based on these findings, the authors were able to develop a rudimentary tool for on-field personnel to effectively assess and manage craniofacial injuries.
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