Thursday, May 28, 2015

AAC updates concussion protocol

At its annual meeting the American Athletic Conference unanimously approved a new concussion management policy.

Much of it is common sense stuff including prohibiting a player diagnosed with a concussion from being able to return to the game that day.

Here are the highlights

Each institution shall have a concussion management plan in place for all sports and an updated plan shall be filed annually with the Conference office by no later than August 1. At minimum, the institution’s concussion management plan must include:
  1. The medical staff has the unchallengeable authority to remove a student-athlete from and to return the student-athlete to activities/return to learn. No coach may serve as the primary supervisor for any medical provider, or have hiring, retention or dismissal authority over that provider.
 2. The concussion management plan should specifically outline the roles of the athletics healthcare staff (e.g., physician, athletic trainer, physical therapist) and the specific protocol for evaluation and management of concussions.
 3. If a student-athlete exhibits signs/symptoms of a concussion, that student-athlete will be immediately removed from play and evaluated by the medical staff.
 4. If the student-athlete is diagnosed with a concussion by a certified medical professional, that student-athlete will not be allowed to return to play that day. Monitoring will begin and the concussion management plan for that institution will be adhered to.

There will also be conference-wide education on safe tackling in conjunction with a partnership with USA Football and the Heads-up tackling program.

Right on cue, the Worcester Magazine posted an interview with former UConn linebacker Yawin Smallwood about his experience after suffering a concussion while in high school.

“When I was in high school, concussions were taken as a joke, kind of,” Smallwood said. “Nowadays, when someone has a concussion, trainers and staff take it a lot more seriously. Once you have a concussion, you’re automatically out now.

“You need to be smart, because if you’re out there with a concussion or something, you’re not playing to the best of your ability. So you need to tell a coach if you’re hurt, because they’re going to judge you by every play that you’re out there.”


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