Are Your School's Concussion Assessments: Good Enough, Fast Enough, Used Enough?
Concussion Assessments on the Field, on Your Phone
Most concussions are not assessed, recognized or diagnosed. Much of the burden falls on the non-medically trained coaches. The multitude of schemes coaches use to screen players create an ad-hoc standard across the school or league. Some ask the player a couple of questions while others use complicated electronic mechanisms that might or might not be acceptable. Standardize your school on the right set of concussion screening tests.
NATA, 2016 Berlin Consensus Statement and the CDC all agree that no single test can determine a potential concussion. Rather a broad-based set of tests including motor control, symptoms, cognition, emotional or more are required to screen for a potential concussion.
Is Your Concussion Assessment Protocol Acceptable?
When a concussion is screened with an acceptable protocol, the risk to student staff and school is reduced. NATA and the 2016 Berlin Consensus Statement have sideline concussion assessment guidelines that change periodically. Use the latest of these as your screening guidelines. Then follow up with a Licenced Medical Provider when appropriate.
Keep Records of What Was Done and When it Was Done
If your screening protocol and timing are acceptable, you need documentation to show accountability.
Records must be protected so they cannot be modified after the fact.
Assess Every Single Significant Head Impact for Potential Concussion
There are many reasons that at least 25% of sports related concussions are not even recognized. Mostly it is about the coaches precious time. If a coach sits them out they’re covered. If they put them back in the game they are at risk. Make sure your coaches have an acceptable, fast and easy way to assess every significant head impact.
Approach Zero Tolerance for Unassessed Head Impacts.