ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT CONCUSSION EDUCATION

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1 ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT CONCUSSION EDUCATION WHAT IS A CONCUSSION? There is no standard definition of concussion that is agreed upon in the medical profession community. This is part of what makes the injury so difficult to diagnose and treat. For our purposes here, a concussion is defined as a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, face, or neck and results in altered functioning of the brain that can manifest in a variety of ways. It is important to know that loss of consciousness does not need to occur for the injury to be classified as a concussion. All head injuries, concussion or no concussion, need to be taken seriously. HOW PREVALENT ARE CONCUSSIONS? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children aged 0 to 4 years, older adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a TBI. Almost half a million (473,947) emergency department visits for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI; concussion) are made annually by children aged 0 to 14 years of age. An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually.

2 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION? Categories of Concussion Symptoms** THINKING/REMEMBERING Difficulty thinking clearly/confusion Feeling foggy or mentally slowed down Difficulty concentrating Difficulty remembering information before or after the head injury PHYSICAL Headache/pressure in the head Fuzzy or blurry vision Nausea or vomiting Dizziness Sensitivity to noise or light Balance Problems Slowed reaction time Fatigue/lack of energy EMOTIONAL/MOOD Irritability Sadness More emotional Nervousness/anxiety Not acting like one s self SLEEP Sleeping more or less than usual Trouble falling asleep **Some symptoms may appear right away, while others may not be noticed for hours, days, or even months following the injury. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SUSPECT MY CHILD HAS SUSTAINED A CONCUSSION? Contact Highland's Athletic Trainer, Jenn Sippel, or your Physician! Concussions are a specific injury that should be treated by specially trained health care providers ALL HIGHLAND sports medicine PARENTS: physicians, The enclosed athletic acknowledgement trainers, neurologists, page physiatrists, must be and signed a few by select all parents others. (or legal guardian) for each Highland athlete prior to the start of the relevant sports season (fall, winter, spring) that your NOT son/daughter ALL PHYSICIANS will be ARE participating TRAINED in. IN Athletes THE MOST may CURRENT NOT try out for CONCUSSION sports without MANAGEMENT this form previously PRACTICES. signed and For example, turned in emergency to Jenn Sippel, department physicians are not to be used for long term concussion management. Highland Athletic Trainer. The emergency department is a much needed part of treatment for the immediate care and ruling out of more serious brain injuries (such as a subdural hematoma or skull fracture), Highland but School, not for 597 return Broadview to play decisions. Avenue, Warrenton, VA 20186

3 HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT IS SAFE FOR MY CHILD TO RETURN TO PLAY? A team of licensed health care providers will work together to determine when it is safe to return to play. Management will include ImPACT neurocognitive testing, a gradual monitored exertional test, and daily symptom monitoring. Before an athlete can return to full participation, he/she must be cleared by a physician that is trained in concussion management. WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF A CONCUSSION? Long-term effects of concussions, while still being studied, are not fully known. It is generally accepted that multiple concussions may lead to long-term memory loss, psychiatric disorders and other neurologic disorders. More importantly, sustaining additional head trauma, while not fully recovered from a concussion, can be life threatening. This is commonly referred to as Second-Impact Syndrome. ImPACT Neurocognitive Testing ImPACT is a computerized neurocognitive test used to evaluate certain functions of the brain both when the athlete is healthy and following a head injury. More information can be obtained at PRE-SEASON: ImPACT baseline testing will be administered through Highland's Athletic Department to all contact sport athletes as soon as possible at the beginning of the sports season. HEAD INJURIES: Following any respective head injury, a post-injury test will be administered once the athlete is completely asymptomatic or at the request of a physician. The results of the post-injury test are used to help determine when an athlete is safe to return to play. For more information regarding ImPACT, please visit the ImPACT web site above or see Highland's Athletic Trainer: JENN SIPPEL, MS, ATC, VATL HIGHLAND ATHLETIC TRAINER (office) (cell) (fax) Attn: Jenn Sippel

4 CAN THE RISK OF CONCUSSION BE REDUCED? The risk of concussion is inherent to sport, and that risk varies by the type of sport. Taking steps to prevent concussion can potentially reduce their prevalence and severity. Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion and respond quickly and appropriately when you are concerned about a head injury. Teach and practice safe, proper technique when playing in sports. Encourage sportsmanship and insist that safety rules be followed, especially properly wearing protective equipment. Insist that your child allow for their concussion to heal before returning to play. When needed, seek appropriate medical treatment and work with your sports medicine team to facilitate the best outcomes for your child. RESOURCES FOR THIS EDUCATIONAL HANDOUT: Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed on 1/23/2012, 1/24/2012, 1/25/2012, 1/26/2012, and 1/29/2012, retrieved from McCrory, Paul, MBBS, PhD; Meeuwisse, Willem, MD, PhD; Johnston, Karen, MD, PhD; Dvorak, Jiri, MD; Aubry, Mark, MD; Molloy, Mick, MB; Cantu, Robert, MA, MD. (2009). Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport 3 rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport Held in Zurich, November, 2008, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 19(3) Retrieved from ment_on_concussion_in_sport,_3rd.20.aspx ALL HIGHLAND PARENTS: The enclosed CONCUSSION EDUCATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT page MUST be signed by all Highland athletes in contact sports and their parents PRIOR TO the start of each relevant sports season (fall, winter, spring). Highland athletes may NOT try out for contact sports without this form previously signed and turned in to Jenn Sippel, Highland Athletic Trainer. HIGHLAND SCHOOL 597 Broadview Avenue Warrenton, VA (540)

5 HIGHLAND SCHOOL Concussion Education Acknowledgement I have read and understand the information provided in the Highland Concussion Education Brochure and will follow the guidelines given in regards to recognizing the signs, symptoms, and management of a concussion if one should occur with my child. Signatures: Student Athlete Name (print) Student Athlete Signature Date Parent or Legal Guardian Name (print) Parent or Legal Guardian Signature Date If you have any questions regarding Concussions, or if you suspect your child has a concussion, please call Highland s Athletic Trainer, Jennifer Sippel, MS, ATC, VATL, at (cell) or (office), or by to: HIGHLAND SCHOOL Concussion Education Acknowledgement I have read and understand the information provided in the Highland Concussion Education Brochure and will follow the guidelines given in regards to recognizing the signs, symptoms, and management of a concussion if one should occur with my child. Signatures: Student Athlete Name (print) Student Athlete Signature Date Parent or Legal Guardian Name (print) Parent or Legal Guardian Signature Date If you have any questions regarding Concussions, or if you suspect your child has a concussion, please call Highland s Athletic Trainer, Jennifer Sippel, MS, ATC, VATL, at (cell) or (office), or by to:

6 Dear Parent/Guardian, Highland School is currently implementing an innovative program for our student-athletes. This program will assist me and our team physician in evaluating and treating head injuries (e.g., concussions). In order to better manage concussions sustained by our student-athletes, we have acquired a software tool called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). ImPACT is a computerized exam utilized in many professional, collegiate, and high school sports programs across the country to successfully diagnose and manage concussions. If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury during competition, ImPACT is used to help determine the severity of head injury and when the injury has healed. The computerized exam is given to athletes before beginning contact sport practice or competition. This non-invasive test is set up in video-game type format and takes about minutes to complete. It is simple, and actually many athletes enjoy the challenge of taking the test. Essentially, the ImPACT test is a preseason physical of the brain. It tracks information such as memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration. It, however, is not an IQ test and there is no pass or fail. The best way to explain it is this: it s like taking your temperature when you aren t sick, so when you are sick you know roughly how bad it is. If a concussion is suspected, the athlete will be required to re-take the test. Both the preseason and post-injury test data is acquired by me and will be given to you to take to your child s physician (or a physician that I can recommend for you) to help evaluate the injury. The test data will enable these health professionals to determine when return-to-play is appropriate and safe for the injured athlete. If an injury of this nature occurs to your child, you will be promptly contacted with all the details. I wish to stress that the ImPACT testing procedures are non-invasive, and they pose no risks to your student-athlete. We are excited to implement this program given that it provides us the best available information for managing concussions and preventing potential brain damage that can occur with multiple concussions. The Highland administration, coaching, and athletic training staffs are striving to keep your child s health and safety at the forefront of the student athletic experience. If you have any further questions regarding this program please feel free to contact me at Sincerely, Jennifer Sippel, MS, ATC, VATL Gary Leake Highland School Athletic Trainer Highland School Athletic Director Office Phone: Phone: Highland Cell: Fax (Attn: Jenn Sippel): w w w. i m p a c t t e s t. c o m

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