Athletic Training instructor presenting case study at OATA meeting

Sarah Manspeaker, an instructor in Marietta College's Department of Athletic Training, is presenting a case study "Corrected Aortic Coarctation in a Collegiate Soccer Athlete" at the Ohio Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium on May 5 in Cincinnati.

Manspeaker, who joined the faculty at Marietta in 2004, studied an athlete who was born with a heart defect (aortic coarctation) and received surgery immediately after birth. The athlete also had surgery as a toddler to correct the problem (a narrowing of the vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body, so doctors expanded the area and attempted to regulate the lapsing heart rhythm).

Manspeaker noted that most people with this condition are not cleared for participation in sports, particularly contact sports. However, the student-athlete, with support from her cardiac specialist and the sports medicine team, participates at the Division III level in soccer. Trainers must monitor her blood pressure to ensure she does not overexert the demands on her heart. Manspeaker and other trainers must also monitor her diet, workout regimen (she must work out consistently to maintain top cardiac form), as well as pulse rate during all activities.

"This case study is extremely relevant to the field of athletic training, from both the health professional and participating athlete points of view," Manspeaker said. "This athlete demonstrates that with proper monitoring, a patient with this particular type of condition and if the athlete follows the regimen set forth by his/her sports medicine team, can participate in sports."

Co-authors on the case study are Marietta instructor David Marchetti and Kyle Fejes (junior level student).

"Sharing this information with other schools will allow students and professionals to see the guidelines we utilize, and perhaps adapt them to their situations," Manspeaker said. "This condition used to restrict or even eliminate the activity of those affected by it. I hope that sharing this information will allow for this opinion to be modified based on individual cases."

Manspeaker is also earning continuing education units toward maintaining her national certification as an athletic trainer.