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Q: Should an institution’s annual athletic department medical screening include screening for the sickle cell trait?

Answer:    Yes, review the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s  (NATA) “Consensus Statement: Sickle Cell Trait and the Athlete” related to screening for the sickle cell trait.  The NATA position is “We recommend confirming sickle cell trait status in all athletes’ pre-participation physical examinations. As all 50 states screen at birth, this marker is a base element of personal health information that should be made readily available to the athlete, the athlete’s parents, and the athlete’s healthcare provider, including those providers responsible for determination of medical eligibility for participation in sports.”