Concussion Management and Protocol
In recent years, there has been a significant amount of research into sports-related head trauma and Concussions. Cuba-Rushford Central School has established this protocol to provide education about head trauma for school personnel, parents, and athletes. This protocol outlines procedures to follow in managing head injuries, and outlines school policy as it pertains to return to play issues after head trauma.
Cuba-Rushford Central School seeks to provide a safe return to activity for all athletes after injury, particularly after a concussion. In order to effectively and consistently manage these injuries, procedures have been developed to aid in insuring that concussed athletes are identified, treated and referred appropriately, receive appropriate follow-up medical care, and are fully recovered prior to returning to activity.
Follow up care during school while dealing with a concussion is coordinated by the school nurse in conjunction with the student’s classroom teachers.
I. Recognition of Concussion
II. Guidelines and procedures for coaches
III. Follow-up care during the school day
IV. Return to play procedures
I. Recognition of Head Trauma
A. General Information- SCAT FORM
A blow to the head can disrupt the normal function of the brain. Doctors often call this type of brain injury a "Concussion" or a head trauma. They may describe these injuries as "mild" because concussion are usually not life threatening. However, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
B. Signs and Symptoms
1. Signs observed by others
a. Athlete appears dazed or stunned
c. Forgets plays
d. Unsure about game, score, opponent
e. Moves clumsily
f. Balance problems
g. Personality change
h. Responds slowly to questions
i. Forgets events prior to injury
j. Forgets events after injury
k. Loss of Consciousness
2. Signs reported by the athlete
b. Fatigue- Low energy, drowsiness
c. Nausea or vomiting
d. Double vision or blurry vision
e. Sensitive to light or noise
f. Feels sluggish (slow-moving)
g. Feels "foggy"
h. Problems concentrating
i. Problems remembering
j. Neck or head pain
3. Danger Signs- Should be taken to the Emergency Care
a. Loss of Consciousness
b. Headaches get worse
c. Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination
d. Repeated vomiting
e. Cannot be awakened
f. One Pupil larger than the other
g. Convulsions or seizures
h. Slurred Speech
4. Parents always have the option of emergency transportation.
II. Guidelines and procedures for coaches- FILL OUT INJURY REPORT
A. RECOGNIZE, REMOVE, REFER
1. Recognize: All coaches should become familiar with the signs and
symptoms of Head Trauma.
a. If a coach suspects the athlete has sustained head trauma
the athlete should be removed from activity until evaluated
b. Any athlete who exhibits signs or symptoms of a concussion
should be removed immediately, assessed, and should not
be allowed to return to activity that day.
a. Coaches should report all head injuries to the Athletic Director
and School Nurse
b. Coaches are responsible for contacting the athlete's parents
c. Remind the athlete to report directly to the school nurse before
school starts, on the day he/she returns to school after the injury.
B. IN THE EVENT THAT AN ATHLETE’S PARENT CANNOT BE REACHED, AND THE ATHLETE CAN BE SENT HOME
1. The Coach should insure that the athlete will be with
a responsible individual, who is capable of monitoring the athlete and
understanding the home care instructions.
2. The Coach should continue efforts to reach the parents.
3. If there is any question about the status of the athlete, the athlete should
be referred to an emergency care facility for evaluation. A coach should
accompany the athlete and remain with the athlete until parents arrive.
4. Athletes with suspected head trauma should not be permitted to drive.
III. Follow-up Care during the school day
A. Responsibilities of the School Nurse
1. The athlete will be instructed to report to the school nurse prior to his/her
return to school
2. Notify the school staff of athlete's injury
3. Notify the student's Physical Education teacher that the athlete is restricted from all physical activity until further notice
4. Monitor the athlete on a regular basis during the school day
B. Responsibilities of the Classroom Teacher
1. Monitor the student closely and recommend appropriate academic
accommodations for students exhibiting symptoms of head trauma or
2. Notify School Nurse of student's progress or lack of progress
IV. Return to Play Procedures
A. Returning to activity on the same day of injury
1. An athlete who exhibits signs or symptoms of head trauma should not
be permitted to return to play on the day of the injury, unless cleared
by the School Physician or a Certified Athletic Trainer.
2. "WHEN IN DOUBT, HOLD THEM OUT"
B. Return to play after head trauma
1. The athlete must meet all of the following criteria in order to resume
a. Asymptomatic at rest and with normal exertion
b. Have written clearance from primary care physician or specialist
2. One the above criteria are met, the athlete will be progressed back to full
activity following a stepwise process under the supervision of a Coach.
3. Progression is individualized, and will be determined on a case by case