An evidence– based guideline from the AAN for evaluating and managing athletes with concussion recommends that athletes who are suspected of having a concussion be removed from the game immediately and not be returned until assessed by a licensed health care professional trained in diagnosing and managing concussion. The new guideline, which replaces a 1997 AAN guideline on the same topic, was published in Neurology® electronically ahead of print on March 18, 2013. It has been endorsed by several athletic, medical, and patient groups.
“Among the most important recommendations the Academy is making is that any athlete suspected of experiencing a concussion should immediately be removed from play,” said co– lead guideline author Christopher C. Giza, MD, with the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. “We’ve moved away from the concussion grading systems we first established in 1997 and are now recommending concussion and return to play be assessed in each athlete individually. There is no set timeline for safe return to play.”
The guideline also addresses sports with the highest risk of concussion, protection provided by helmets and headgear, increased risk after having a concussion, the relationship between multiple concussions and permanent or lasting impairments, and other issues.
Read the guideline, access clinician and patient resources, and download the new AAN Concussion Quick Check app. For more information, contact Julie Cox or (612) 928– 6069.