While the Burbank Unified School District regularly provides
physicians and even an ambulance at football games, it appears it is
not required to supply such medical staffing.
The issue could come into play in a lawsuit filed recently on
behalf of a San Gabriel Gabrielino High School football player who
lapsed into a coma during an Oct. 4 game against Burbank High School.
Andrew Castillo collapsed and stopped breathing after complaining of
head pain. He was taken to an area hospital, then transferred to a
private hospital where he remained in a coma until early January.
While Castillo was attended to by Burbank High School team
physician Dr. Steve Yacoubian and other volunteers, the lawsuit
claims paramedics contracted to be at the game were out on another
call, and both districts failed to provide ample medical staff.
However, state athletic officials said there are no requirements
for medical staffing at regular season games unless established by
the schools themselves.
The California Interscholastic Federation has no requirement for
medical personnel at sporting events, Assistant Executive Director
Roger Blake said. The Southern Section, of which Burbank High Scool
is a member, only requires a licensed physician at playoff games.
“It’s all a local decision made by the local school board,” Blake
said. “Most districts don’t have a requirement, but some do.”
Burbank Unified officials were unable to confirm Friday if the
district had its own policy regarding medical staffing at sporting
The district is self-insured and part of a joint powers agreement
with several school districts, including San Gabriel, said Steve
Bradley, assistant super- intendent of business services. The policy
covers any injury at a sporting event, whether on the field or off,
Because the district is self-insured, its coverage is not
dependent on what level of medical staffing is provided, district