Tag Archives: protocols

Big Ten Approves Enhanced Concussion Protocols

The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) held its annual December meeting in Indianapolis on Sunday and took what it described as “another step toward improving student-athlete welfare when it approved a conference recommendation to establish enhanced concussion protocols.”

The concussion protocols will move from best practices and minimum requirements for schools to regulatory standards by the conference. In addition, the COP/C unilaterally adopted the establishment of an independent neutral athletic trainer in the replay booth with their own monitor and the ability to directly contact officials on the field. The independent neutral athletic trainer will be in addition to the continued presence of on-field doctors and athletic trainers from each institution.

The enhanced concussion protocols will be incorporated by reference into the existing conference-wide concussion management policy and will include reporting requirements, disciplinary action for non-compliance and a higher level of accountability for conference member institutions.

The adoption of enhanced concussion protocols “is the latest step by the conference to further ensure the safety of student-athletes.”

In May 2010, the Big Ten became the first conference to establish a conference-wide concussion management plan for use by conference institutions. In April 2011, the Big Ten and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) conducted the first of a series of head injury summits at the conference office, with 40-plus attendees across several disciplines. In June 2012, the Big Ten and Ivy League, in conjunction with the CIC, announced plans to engage in a co-sponsored, cross-institutional research collaboration to study the effects of head injuries in sports.

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Longer Down-Time Signifies NFL’s Making Progress in Managing Concussions

A new report for injury data from 2012 reveals that “NFL players who suffered concussions last season spent an average of 16 days off the field, a significant increase from previous years.”

“That is an increase of nearly 10 days per concussion since 2009, though the total number of concussions have remained relatively flat in that time,” said Dr. Jesse David of Edgeworth Economics, the firm conducting an independent analysis of data supplied by the NFL Player’s Association.

The league’s view of this longer recovery time is that it’s efforts to manage concussion symptoms and the follow up treatment are working—not that the impact of head trauma is “getting worse.”

According to the report, “players missed an average of only 6.4 days after suffering a concussion in 2009, and only 4 days per concussion in 2005.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello remarked that this “is a reflection of how the injury is being treated more cautiously based on revised protocols and the current judgment of our medical staffs.”

Dr, David goes on to comment that “though the number of head injuries appears to have leveled out, the total number of severe injuries is up.” Severe meaning that the player misses two games or requires surgery.

“Players in 2012 suffered 1,496 injuries that resulted in at least a two-game absence, and 345 injuries that required surgery. Both were all-time highs, “David stated.

The fact remains, the wear and tear of professional football will most likely rear its ugly head later on in life in one form or another—memory loss, bad knees, back pain. It’s a violent sport that more often than not takes no prisoners.

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National Athletic Trainer’s Association to Host Meeting on Concussions and other Health Issues

On June 25th, the NATIONAL ATHLETIC TRAINERS’ ASSOCIATION (NATA) will conduct its 64th Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposia in Las Vegas. An inter-association task force consensus statement will be released on “Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs: Best Practice Recommendations.” This advanced-release will be” published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication.”

Key insights into this subject matter will deal with the secondary school athletic population, which “leads  the nation in athletic deaths with cardiac, heat stroke and head injuries being the three leading causes of death.”

Areas of concern are:

  • The lack of a “national organization at the secondary school level authorized to make policies and provide guidelines that must be adopted universally at all school programs. Guidelines are implemented state by state and state associations usually are not governed by medical staff so lifesaving health policies are determined by coaches and athletic administrators.”
  • The need to make use of “proper recognition and emergency protocols” for developing best practice recommendations to “serve as a roadmap for policy consideration regarding the safety of secondary school athletes.” Identified as among the ”leading causes of sudden death in this population” are “head and neck injuries, exertional heat stroke, sudden cardiac arrest and exertional sickling.”

The task force assigned to address these concerns was “spearheaded by NATA (www.nata.org) in collaboration with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Supporting organizations include the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

Other task force members include: American Academy of Pediatrics; American College of Emergency Physicians; American College of Sports Medicine; American Medical Society for Sports Medicine; American Osteopathic Academy for Sports Medicine; American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine; Korey Stringer Institute; Gatorade Sports Science Institute; National Council on Strength and Fitness; and The National Federation of State High Schools.”


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