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POLICY DEVELOPMENT

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Hockey, Wrestling, and Lacrosse will be required to do baseline screening for concussions. For any other team it will be optional and will be done if requested from the coach.

In order to keep a patient from further harm or damage after a concussion, it is imperative that the participant communicate with the athletic trainer regarding head injury, no matter how minor. It is also important for other teammates and coaches to spot abnormal behavior and concussive symptoms and report observations to the athletic trainer immediately. Hiding it or continuing to play can lead to serious harm, further damage to the brain, and prolonged recovery time. Coaches will be given a separate handout regarding concussions, and the Coordinator for Athletic Training will be at one of the first team meetings to go over signs and symptoms as well as proper procedure.

Any athlete diagnosed with a concussion will not return to play until they have been cleared by a Licensed Health Care Provider (ex. ATC and Physician).

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PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW

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The return to play progression is a 6 step process. At least 24 hours must pass before moving on to the next step. If symptoms return the athlete must go back a step. The steps are as follows:

1. No activity- Directly after being diagnosed with a concussion, the athlete should have total physical and mental rest. Once the student-athlete is asymptomatic at rest and concussion test scores are 95% or better than the baseline scores the athlete will progress to the next step.

2. Light aerobic exercise- Walking, swimming, or biking while keeping heart rate below 70% of max.

3. Sport-specific exercise- Basic low impact drills associated with the athletes sport. (No head impact activities)

4. Non-contact training drills- Progress to more complex drills.

5. Full contact Practice- After receiving medical clearance, athlete may resume normal training activities.

6. Return to Play

Some Signs and Symptoms:

- Difficulty concentrating - Nausea/vomiting - Inappropriate playing behavior - Dizziness - Decreased playing ability - Confusion - Inability to perform daily activities - Fatigue - Reduced attention - Light headedness - Cognitive and memory dysfunction - Headaches - Sleep disturbances - Irritability - Vacant stare - Disorientation - Loss of bowel and/or bladder control - Seeing bright lights/stars - Personality change - Feeling of being stunned - Unsteadiness of gait - Depression - Slurred/incoherent speech - Ringing in the ears - Loss of consciousness

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