San Diego Sports Medicine Sport Concussion Policy Developed by the SDSM Committee on Sports Concussion Updated 2/11

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1 San Diego Sports Medicine Sport Concussion Policy Developed by the SDSM Committee on Sports Concussion Updated 2/11 San Diego Sports Medicine (SDSM) has been a leader in the evaluation and treatment of sport-related concussions. Our team of Sports Medicine Physicians has worked with athletes of all levels from the Olympics, US National Teams, San Diego Chargers, San Diego State University, San Diego Christian College, and a large number of San Diego High Schools. Our concussion policy and concussion management protocol has been developed with numerous years of hands on experience, years of dedication to the field of Sports Medicine, and from the most recent literature on sport-related concussion. Recent research has shown that an athlete's balance and/or cognitive functioning are often depressed following a concussion even in the absence of self-reported symptoms. It has been demonstrated that it typically takes anywhere from 3 to 10 days for an athlete to return to their normal state following even a mild concussion. However, in some cases (<10%) athletes can experience post-concussion syndrome in which the symptoms last beyond 3 weeks. According to the new 2010 CIF, National Federation of High School and NCAA guidelines, athletes that have sustained a concussion may not return to play for at least 24 hours after the injury and must be evaluated and cleared by a Physician (MD or DO) before they are able to return to play. It is also strongly recommended by the CDC, the 3 rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport, the CIF, and the NCAA that athletes follow a 5 day return to play protocol. Our physicians and staff at SDSM utilizes a three-fold approach when determining an athlete s readiness to return to play following a concussion: 1) evaluation of the athlete's signs and symptoms 2) neurocognitive function 3) balance These 3 aspects provide the sports medicine staff with the objective information necessary to return the athlete to play safely. The findings of these post-injury assessments are then compared to pre-season baseline assessments, if baseline testing has been completed. The following concussion policy and concussion management protocol has been adopted by San Diego Sports Medicine and is to be followed in managing athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion.

2 SDSM Concussion Policy 1) All student-athletes that are seen at SDSM for head injuries must read the Concussion Fact Sheet and sign the attached student athlete statement. 2) It is our recommendation that coaches encourage their athletes to report any suspected injuries and illnesses to the athletic trainer or medical staff, including signs and symptoms of concussions. This is included on the Concussion Fact sheet which we can provide. 3) If the athletes school has an athletic trainer, they should coordinate the care, educational sessions, and collection of necessary documents. The athletic trainer should be responsible for keeping in contact with their team physician regarding the athletes care. SDSM Concussion Management Protocol Concussions and other brain injuries can be serious and potentially life threatening injuries in sports. Research indicates that these injuries can also have serious consequences later in life if not managed properly. In an effort to combat this injury the following concussion management protocol will be used by SDSM for student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion. A concussion occurs when there is a direct or indirect insult to the brain. As a result, transient impairment of mental functions such as memory, balance/equilibrium, and vision may occur. It is important to recognize that many sport-related concussions do not result in loss of consciousness and, therefore, all suspected head injuries should be taken seriously. Coaches and fellow teammates can be helpful in identifying those who may potentially have a concussion, because a concussed athlete may not be aware of their condition, or may potentially be trying to hide the injury to stay in the game or practice. 1) An athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion should be evaluated by the team s athletic trainer, including use of the SCAT 2. Should the team physician not be present, the athletic trainer should notify the team physician ASAP to develop an evaluation and treatment plan. Ideally, an assessment of symptoms will be performed at the time of the injury and then serially thereafter (i.e. 2-3 hours post-injury, 24 hours, 48 hours, etc). The presence or absence of symptoms will dictate the inclusion of additional neurocognitive and balance testing. 2) If the athletes condition is deemed emergent, EMS should be activated and the athlete should be treated appropriately. 3) On the sideline, medical personal, trainer and/or physician should speak with the athlete and their guardian regarding the condition, its risks, cautions, and provide them with a post concussion information sheet to take home. Once home, the athlete or guardian should call the athletic trainer or physician if any worsening of condition and/or go the Emergency Room if indicated.

3 4) Any student-athlete diagnosed with a concussion shall not return to activity for the remainder of that day. Medical clearance will be determined by the combination of team physician, athletic trainers, and any other medical professionals involved with management of the concussion. 5) If a team physician is not present, the team athletic trainer should notify the team physician of any concussion sustained within 24 hours of the injury. (If no team physician is available, the trainer may contact a SDSM physician). The athletic trainer, following consultation with the team physician, should contact SDSM to schedule an appointment. 6) During the visit at SDSM, physicians and nurses with knowledge of concussion management will administer a series of tests as well as ask the athlete a number of questions to determine when the athlete can safely began the return to play protocol. They may be asked to provide baseline neurocognitive scores if available. In the event that an athlete does not have baseline scores, age-matched normative percentile scores will be used for comparison to post-injury scores if neurocognitive testing needs to be done. 7) Once the Athlete is determined to be asymptomatic for 24 hours, with the authorization and guidance of a SDSM physician, the athlete may began the return to play protocol (see below), which may be overseen by the team athletic trainer. If there is no athletic trainer available to the athlete, discussion with SDSM physicians and staff should be done. 8) Remember an athlete cannot return to play without the written permission of a Medical Doctor (MD or DO)

4 Return to Play Protocol NO ATHLETE SUSPECTED OF HAVING A CONCUSSION IS PERMITTED TO RETURN TO PLAY THE SAME DAY, AND NO ATHLETE IS PERMITTED TO RETURN TO PLAY WHILE SYMPTOMATIC FOLLOWING A CONCUSSION. Baseline testing: may or may not have been completed at the athlete s school. At time of Injury: clinical evaluation & symptom checklist 0-3 hrs post-injury: Observe athlete, symptom checklist, referral if indicated. If stable, send home with guardian and Head sheet. Next Day: clinical evaluation & symptom checklist by ATC or physician Follow-up evaluations: daily to track symptom recovery Once athlete becomes asymptomatic: 1) Determine where athlete is relative to baseline on exam,scat2, and/or ImPact if available. (If other neurocognitive baseline testing was completed, this should be use to compare.) 2) If the measurements are at least 95% of baseline scores (if no baseline testing has been completed, then compare scores to age appropriate scores) and the athlete remains asymptomatic, the physician may instruct the athletic trainer to begin a 5- step graduated exertional return to play (RTP) protocol (see below) with the athlete to assess for increasing signs and symptoms. Symptoms should be reassessed immediately following exertional activities. 3) If the athlete remains asymptomatic on the day following the first step(s) of the graduated exertional RTP protocol, the athlete will be reassessed using the measurements above (#1), and continue into the next step on the graduated exertional RTP protocol. IF AT ANY POINT DURING THIS PROCESS THE ATHLETE BECOMES SYMPTOMATIC THE ATHLETE SHOULD STOP THE EXERTION AND BE RE-ASSESSED DAILY UNTIL ASYMPTOMATIC. ONCE ASYMPTOMATIC, THE ATHLETE SHOULD BEGIN THE RTP PROTOCOL FROM STEP 1.

5 Graduated Exertional Return to Play Protocol This exertional protocol allows a gradual increase in amount and intensity during the return to play process. The athlete is monitored for any concussion-like signs/symptoms during and after each exertional activity. There should be approximately 24 hours (or longer) for each stage and the athlete should return to stage 1 if symptoms recur. Resistance training should only be added in the later stages. 1. rest until asymptomatic (physical and mental rest) 2. light aerobic exercise (e.g. stationary cycle) 3. sport-specific exercise 4. non-contact training drills (start light resistance training) 5. full contact training after medical clearance 6. return to competition (game play) Remember no athlete can return to full activity or competitions until they are asymptomatic in limited, controlled, and full-contact activities, and cleared by the team physician. (Edited 2/11) Resources/References 3rd Intl Conference on Concussions in Sport, Zurich 2008 SCAT2 NFHS and CIF concussion guidelines

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