A student athlete with a suspected concussion will be evaluated by an athletic trainer at the time of injury. This will include a neurological and motor function assessment. The Athletic Trainer will then decide, based on present symptoms and their assessment, if the student athlete needs immediate referral to the ER.
If no immediate referral is necessary, the student athlete will be sent home with care instructions to be given to and followed by a roommate. The athlete will follow up with a team physician in the athletic training room or the student health center.
Home care instructions will include the following list of signs and symptoms. An athlete should be taken to the emergency room if any of the following signs or symptoms become severe or worsen:
|Signs (things others see)||Symptoms (things you feel)|
|Appears dazed or stunned||Headache|
|Confused about assignment||Confusion|
|Unable to remember plays||Dizziness or balance problems|
|Unsure of game, score or opponent||Double or fuzzy vision|
|Slow to answer questions||Any other visual alteration|
|Clumsy movements||Sensitivity to light or noise|
|Loss of consciousness||Feeling sluggish or slow|
|Behavior or personality change||Feeling foggy or groggy|
|Can't recall events before the injury||Concentration or memory problems|
|Can't recall events after the injury||Extreme fatigue|
|Vomiting||Nausea or vomiting|
The student athlete will check in with the athletic training staff daily to fill out a symptom score checklist as well as post-injury impact testing. If the athlete's post injury score is similar to the baseline score and/or national average, they can begin the return to play progression. If the athlete's post injury score shows a deficit, they will follow up with the team physician for further evaluation.
The return to play protocol is a multi-step process. It begins once the athlete is symptom free for 24 hours and has an adequate score on a post-injury impact test as compared to the baseline. Completing one step and moving on to the next is contingent upon finishing the prior day's activity with no return of symptoms.
After an initial assessment with an athletic trainer, a health center notification will be sent to relevant faculty and the student's faculty advisor by the dean for academic advising. This email will be copied to the student and state that they will arrange to meet with each professor regarding any concerns about academic work.
Students should follow up with Erin Salva if they want to arrange any of the accommodations or assistive technology supports listed below.
New research shows that any concussion, including a “ding” or “bell-ringer,” is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that needs to be taken seriously. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can impact student’s ability to learn while symptoms are present and may require individualized academic accommodations. Once students are ready to return to school, providing academic accommodations can prevent exacerbation of symptoms and lead to a quicker and more successful recovery.
Books on tape or digital text materials
Access to class notes
Extended time for tests
Time allowances for make-up work
Rest breaks during class or tests
Poor attention span
Difficulty following directions
Reduced short-term memory recall
Inability to complete routine tasks
Sensitivity to light/noise
Irritable or withdrawn