Jan 29, 2015
Concussion Protocols Take Center Stage

One of the most well attended sessions was another peer-to-peer discussion–this one titled Development of Concussion Management Protocols for Secondary Schools. With concussion protocols being such a hot topic lately, it was no surprise there was a packed room. Continue reading…

The moderators were William ‘Bucky’ Taylor, MEd, LAT, ATC, and Dennis Hart, MEd, LAT, ATC. Both are Texas high school athletic trainers who recently retired from providing coverage at the high school level, but are still active in their school districts. Taylor and Hart were also both very big parts of getting concussion legislation passed in Texas that will take effect September 1.

Taylor started the discussion by asking the room how many of them worked at a high school with a return-to-play policy. About half the room raised their hands. Then he asked how many of them were required to follow a state concussion law, and about 25 percent of the room raised their hands.

One of the most interesting parts of the discussion was the obvious, and very large, disconnect high school athletic trainers have with the local physicians they refer their athletes to. Some athletic trainers said they’ve sent SCAT or SCAT2 forms with concussed athletes when they go to see their physician for clearance to play and the physician doesn’t even know what the form is for. Then, because they don’t know what to do with the information on the form, the physician sees that the athletes isn’t currently exhibiting any symptoms and clears them to play too early.

This was obviously of major concern to the other athletic trainers in the room. One of the best pieces of advice that emerged from the talk was to make sure your concussion policy is school policy. That way, even if an athlete’s physician clears them to play, the athlete is still required to go complete your school’s gradual return-to-play process.

The importance of educating your local physicians was highlighted, too. One athletic trainer said that when her school district implemented its concussion guidelines, all of the local athletic trainers got together and went around to the areas clinics to explain to them what sort of forms they could expect to receive soon.

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