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Calumet College of St. Joseph
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Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference
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City of Whiting
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Crimson Wave Athletics
Calumet College of St. Joseph
2400 New York Ave. Whiting, IN 46394
(219) 473-4276

Athletic Training - Concussion Information

Parents and coaches 101

Myths and Facts

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is defined as:

  • A traumatic brain or mild brain injury that can cause alteration in brain function
  • Can lead to confusion, alteration in consciousness, memory and balance/coordination problems

Mechanism of a concussion:

  • Direct blow to head
  • Sudden impact to body i.e. body going at high speed to a sudden stop
  • Body check to body, or any collision, not necessarily involving direct blow
  • to head                                   
  • Running into outfield wall
  • Thrown to ground/mat

Common Signs/ Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Blurred Vision
  • Loss of Memory (Retrograde/Anterograde amnesia)
  • Ringing of the ears
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of Balance
  • Weakness in hands and/or feet
  • Changes in personality
  • Slurred speech

Retrograde Amnesia- Patient or athlete has trouble remembering events before the injury
Anterograde Amnesia-Patient or athlete has trouble remembering events after the injury

Sever Signs and Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures/convulsions
  • Paralysis

*These types of symptoms are a signal to call 911 immediately.

Issues that can occur after a concussion:

Post Concussion Syndrome:

Postconcussion syndrome is a complication that can occur when someone has suffered from a concussion. Some of the signs of this are decreased attention span, trouble concentrating, memory issues, and irritability for a long or short period of time. Sometimes exercise can lead to headaches, dizziness, and quick onset of fatigue. Some long term effects of postconcussion syndrome are decrease balance and decrease in cognitive performance. An athlete with these types of symptoms should not return to play. With postconcussion syndrome CT and neuropsychological test can show negative results even though the athlete is experiencing these symptoms.

Second Impact Syndrome:

Is a condition that can occur if an athlete returns to competition to soon after a concussion. This is when an athlete receives another blow to the head when they are still symptomatic from the initial concussion. This type of blow can result in immediate swelling of the brain and an increase in pressure in the head.  This situation evolves rapidly the athlete can go from a conscious to an unconscious state very quickly. They will need medical attention immediately. Even in the best case situations the mortality for this is still 50%.

 

CCSJ Crimson Wave Concussion Protocol

Calumet College of St. Joseph concussion protocol is designed to ensure the safety and well-being of the Crimson Wave student-athletes. This protocol will be enforced anytime a student-athlete is suspected of sustaining a concussion or concussion-like symptoms during practice and/or competition. 

Immediate Management of a Concussion

If a student-athlete suspects that they have a concussion. They should be removed from play for further evaluation. The proper qualified medical personnel (QMP) should be informed with the CCSJ Head Athletic Trainer being the first point of contact.

  • Sammie Schneider – CCSJ Head Athletic Trainer
  • Matt Morley – PT at Accelerated Rehabilitation
  • Dr. Mullally – Team Concussion Physician

Once the student-athlete has been evaluated by the medical personnel their parents or roommates they are currently living with will be given a head injury home care instruction sheet that will give instructions on how to respond properly to their injury.

Baseline Testing

Baseline testing will be done for ALL new student-athletes prior to the start of each team’s competitive season. If the student-athlete sustains a concussion during a season of play, he/she will have to re-take a baseline test prior to each returning season of competition at Calumet College of St. Joseph.

Follow up care

Once the student-athlete is diagnosed with a concussion he/she will have to take the concussion screening test within 24 -72 hours following the sustained injury. If the student-athlete presents symptoms of a concussion or the test score is lower than the threshold of the (1-2 points) baseline score, the student-athlete is considered to have a concussion and must go through the return to activity protocol. The athlete will also be referred to the CCSJ Athletic Department’s MD specialist, Dr. Mullally. The student athlete will have to be cleared by the physician to start the return to activity steps.

Post-concussion care will be decided by the CCSJ medical team. The student-athlete may start with rest or physical therapy until he/she is symptom free, it will be based on a case by case situation. Once the student-athlete is symptom free, has an acceptable score on ImPACT, and passes both the balance and occulomotor(eye movement) test. The MD will make the decision to have them start the return to activity protocol.

Return to Activity Protocol

The first criteria is for the student-athlete to be symptom FREE. ALL ACTIVITY MUST NOT REPRODUCE SYMPTOMS. The athlete must get through each step symptom free. If symptoms occur during the step they will discontinue that step and have to wait until they are symptom free for 24hrs to repeat it.

Progressive Return to Activity Guidelines:

The guidelines are for student-athletes who do not have a history of concussions. For student-athletes who have suffered multiple concussions in a one year period, they will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will need a more individualized plan monitored by a QMP.

Day 1 Light Activity

Once it has been determined that the student-athlete has been symptom free for the required time, light activity may proceed. Examples are:

  • Walk
  • Bike
  • Elliptical

NOTE: The reason to keep the risk level at a zero is to limit the stress placed on the brain, in hopes of evaluating the possible reoccurrence of symptoms. The goal is to increase the heart rate, and to allow the stress of running to place minimal strain the brain. Do not let other variables (i.e. other athletes) enter the equation.

If a student-athlete is symptom free the next day, you may progress to next level

Day 2 Moderate/Heavy Activity

This can include heavy aerobic activity or sport specific drills

ALL ACTIVITY MUST NOT REPRODUCE SYMPTOMS.  If any symptoms are reproduced, cease activities and allow for more rest. If a student-athlete is symptom free the next day, you may resume activity, starting with light activity and progressing to heavy activity if possible. If symptoms persist, wait for the student-athlete to be symptom free before resuming, per above table. If symptoms worsen, refer to QMP.

If athlete is symptom free the next day, you may progress to next level

Day 3 Sport Specific Drills and Light Contact (No head contact)

This includes all activity, excluding scrimmaging/game participation.

  • Any controlled contact/collisions.
  • For field sports, no heading the ball/falling to the ground situations.
  • For court sports, no live scrimmaging/games/falling to the ground.

The goal of this level is to allow contact/collisions in a controlled manner and avoid unpredictable type injuries that can occur in a competitive situation.

If this activity causes symptoms, cease activity and allow for more rest. The student-athlete should be reassessed for symptoms before resuming activity. The student-athlete must be symptom free before resuming activity.  If symptoms persist, wait for student-athlete to be symptom free before resuming, per above table. If symptoms worsen, refer to QMP.

If athlete is symptom free the next day, you may progress to next level

Day 4 Full Practice

While the student-athlete is technically cleared, you must still monitor the student-athlete for symptoms.  If symptoms return, cease activity and allow for more rest. The student-athlete should be reassessed for symptoms before resuming activity. The student-athlete must be symptom free before resuming activity. If symptoms persist, wait for student-athlete to be symptom free before resuming, per above table. If symptoms worsen, refer to QMP.

If the student-athlete is symptom free the next day, you may progress to the next level

Day 5 Full Competition

The student-athlete can return to full participation in a game with no restrictions if they are symptom free and final Impact testing scores are back to normal.

Note on Monitoring Athlete

The protocol is to protect the student-athlete from irreparable harm. While the physician may have cleared the student-athlete, it should not be assumed that the student-athlete is completely out of risk of injury. The coach must make clear to the student-athlete what symptoms to watch out for, to be honest about re-occurring symptoms without putting undue pressure on the student- athlete to return to activity. The ATC is available for consultation and/or guidance via appointment, by telephone

 

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