Concussion protocol is an organization’s set of policies and procedures for caring for someone who has had a head injury. Even though concussions aren’t limited to sports, concussion protocol is most often associated with sports-related head injury.
The people involved in making sure the concussion protocol is followed include trained healthcare providers with knowledge of concussion care, athletic trainers, school nurse/counselor/teachers, rehabilitation specialists and parents.
A concussion protocol includes such information as:
- Education on concussion definition, signs and symptoms, and management.
- Pre-season baseline brain function test (ImPACT test or equivalent) of reaction time, memory, speed of mental processing and other factors per individual player.
- State law criteria for removing a player from activity.
- Sideline assessment of the head injury (includes comparison to pre-season ImPACT test or equivalent baseline results).
- School adjustments (shorter days, more breaks, extra time to finish assignments, etc.) during recovery.
- Gradual return to activity via a gradual process of small increases in activity.