Jan 4, 2018
Collaborative Approach

In Craig, Colo., the Craig-Concussion Action Team (C-CAT) was developed to address the multiple facets of concussion injuries in area children and teens. The group includes athletic trainers, the local Moffat County School District, physicians, and physical therapists.

According to an article from the Craig Daily Press, the C-CAT works to educate both student-athletes and parents about the risks involved with concussions. One of the challenges is that parents often underplay the potential harm, especially with the three- to four-week recovery time that is often needed.

“One of the things we run into is the length of time it can take for a kid to return to full activity, full sports, and full academics,” Frani Jenkins, PA-C, ATC, a Physician Assistant at Northwest Colorado Health and member of the C-CAT, said. “One requirement is you have to be back in class with no academic accommodations before going back to athletics.”

Usually, student-athletes will begin with short days at school. This may include having limits on computer time, shortened assignments, rest breaks, and extra time to hand in schoolwork.

“As symptoms improve as the student is able to tolerate more activities, often times a referral for concussion rehabilitation is made,” Kristie Yarmer, MD, C-CAT member and Pediatrician at Memorial Regional Health, said. “This is a protocol typically through physical therapy or the athletic trainer.”

Identifying concussions is a thorough, collaborative process for the C-CAT. When a student-athlete comes in for treatment, parents are asked to sign a release form that allows the team of athletic trainers, physical therapists, school nurse, teachers, and other health care providers to communicate with one another.

“We’re pretty ahead of the game to have a functional team with quite a few individuals that provide a communal approach to concussion management,” Marshall Kraker, ATC, C-CAT member and Athletic Trainer for Moffat County School District, Memorial Regional Health Sports Medicine, and Memorial Regional Health Physical Therapy, said. “If you don’t have this group planning, how can you expect to be successful?”

Image by Sgt. John Healy

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