The purpose of this article was two-fold: (1) to address and highlight the standards of concussion management protocol provided by the NATA, CDC and major sports governing bodies, and (2) to examine how concussion protocols of different levels of athletic programs and organizations adhere to the proposed guidelines and standards. According to the literature, an ideal concussion management plan must cover elements such as: concussion education, responsibility and information about student athletes’ self-reporting signs and symptoms, policy and rules on restricting activities of athletes who are diagnosed with a concussion, requirements and procedures for diagnosis of a concussion and clearance before returning to play (RTP), baseline testing for athletes, return to learn guidelines, and a stepwise RTP progression. The results of our analysis revealed that most of the programs had complied with the NATA concussion treatment protocol and standards, particularly on the element of the stepwise progression RTP protocol. Implications and practical suggestions are discussed to help improve existing protocols to better serve injured athletes and protect all athletes from further exposure to sport related concussions (SRC).
Kentucky SHAPE Journal Vol. 58 No. 1, 53-68.
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