Beginning in August 2012, the NCAA has mandated that student-athletes must be tested for sickle cell trait, show proof of a prior test or sign a waiver releasing the institution of liability if they decline to be tested.
In accordance with this legislation, Bentley University is mandating that student-athletes must be tested for sickle cell trait, show proof of a prior test or sign a waiver releasing the University, its officers, employees and agents from any and all costs, liability, expense claims, demands or causes of actions on account of any loss or personal injury that might result from non-compliance with the mandate of the NCAA and Bentley University’s Athletic Training Department.
If identified as carrying the abnormal hemoglobin, you can continue to participate in your respective sport without significant restrictions. Care would be taken and restrictions imposed only if you had an active febrile infection or one that affected your respiratory system, if you were training at altitude, or in extreme weather conditions (especially heat). Ensuring adequate hydration during practice and competition, and training at reasonable exertion levels is another important factor in preventing adverse health issues.
Infants born after 1984 were tested for the sickle cell trait and therefore the documentation should be available from your family pediatrician. The screening test (Sickle Cell Solubility Test) can be performed with your family physician. If the initial screening test does come back positive for sickle cell, a follow up test can be performed to determine if you have Sickle Cell Disease vs. Sickle Cell Trait. Educational sessions around the topic of sickle cell and the precautions that need to be undertaken due to the serious nature of the conditions will be required for all those individuals who are sickle cell trait positive.
It is with your health and safety in mind that we take this position that all student-athletes know their sickle cell trait status. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding this issue.