| Best Practices
Standards of health care are being questioned daily. Professional sports, intercollegiate as well as interscholastic health care providers are being looked to for appropriate health care standards. Athletic administrators are often challenged with the need to oversee athletic trainers providing care — something the administrators are often not trained to do. Best practices should be the goal of all health care practitioners. These are often developed through a review of available evidence and guidelines; evaluates the value of diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions (American College of Physicians).
The management of sport concussion has certainly been reported in recent years. The myriad number of law suits and public outcry for management has certainly brought question for the past management of sport concussion. Due to the inconsistencies with care, many sport organizations have attempted to standardize treatment and such has centered around three areas — the graded symptoms checklist, balance assessment, and neuropsychological assessment. Further, it is being recommended these measures be assessed prior to participation, and then further assessed to make sure tests are at baseline prior to allowing a progressive return to physical activity and cognitive functioning. The following tools are some reference documents to assist further with handling of these sensitive cases by the health care team. At no time should patients return to activity without the complete assessment and clearance of a physician trained in concussion management.
The following links provide some excellent resources for those dealing with athletic injuries:
Independent medical care guidelines (NCAA)
Football practice guidelines (NCAA)
Concussion guidelines (NCAA)
International Symposium on Concussion, Consensus Statement 2013
NATA Position Statement - Management of Sport Concussion
Official Statement by NATA — EMS Changes to Pre-hospital Care of the Athletic with Acute Cervical Spine Injury
Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool
SCAT3 Concussion Assessment Tool
Acute Concussion Evaluation
If you would like to have more information, or if our team of sports medicine consultants can provide more support or resources to you in the form of program review, procedural guidelines, or other areas of review, please contact us.