A regular reader and a very good friend to The Concussion Blog was fortunate enough to attend the Delaware Youth Concussion Summit the past week. I had asked her to write-up a report and she kindly and succinctly did that for TCB. Because of Dorothy Bedford I can bring you this information, thank you. This is also a reminder that if you attend a conference, symposium or summit and feel the information would good for the readers you are more than welcome to submit it so us in a .doc or .docx form and we will publish. Without further ado here is Dorothy’s contribution;
The Delaware Youth Concussion Summit, an initiative organized by the State Council for Persons with Disabilities Brain Injury Committee, Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, and the Brain Injury Association of Delaware, yesterday released its three-point Action Plan regarding the diagnosis, management, and return to activity for the rising number of young people sustaining concussions in sports activities. Participants in the summit and action work groups include leaders and experts in medicine, neuro-psychology, education, sports, advocacy, state agencies, and elected officials.
The Summit aims to further the aims of Delaware’s concussion legislation, signed in August 2011, which mandated both concussion training for all DIAA coaches and awareness training for parents and athletes, and set some rules around written medical clearances before returning to play.
After convening in May 2013, the Summit divided itself into working groups and today announced three focus areas for further action:
- Establish a uniform documentation protocol between the medical community and the schools, for both sports and non-sports related concussions.
- Develop a training program for healthcare providers focused on the diagnosis and management of concussions. Consider statutory change that would require physicians who manage concussion to complete approved training in diagnosis, management, and return to activity (school and sports).
- Establish a Youth Sports Advisory Council to address education and regulation of community, recreational and travel sports programs.
The existing working groups continue to move forward on these action plan items. The Summit expects to reconvene in November 2013.
Delaware’s announcement today maintains the state’s momentum on furthering concussion safety. Few state legislatures or agencies have asserted responsibility for community, recreational and travel programs so the Summit’s intent to focus on those sports organizations put Delaware among a select few addressing concussion practices in non-scholastic youth athletics. The continuing interest of legislators who are trained as health professionals has been an important factor.
Brandywine School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Holodick noted that his district continues to expand its concussion safety program, with trainers on the sideline, implementing baseline neuro-cognitive testing on all high school athletes participating in contact sports, and practicing preventive measures, such as “heads-up“ tackling techniques, to lower the probability of concussion injury.
Dr. Jane Crowley of Nemours/ Alfred I DuPont Hospital said that concussions have become a high incidence injury, which makes it a public health phenomenon. The need for uniform documentation between medical providers and schools had become critical. The wildly disparate nature of written instructions arriving at guidance offices was putting students at risk of too much cognitive exertion while their injured brains were still recovering. One model the Summit is likely to consider is the CDC Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) Care Plan, School Version, written by Drs. Gerald Gioia and Michael Collins. (see http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/headsup/pdf/ACE_care_plan_school_version_a.pdf )
University of Delaware Blue Hens head football coach Dave Brock, a longtime friend of concussion researcher Kevin Guskiewicz, also attended the press conference to demonstrate support for this youth sport safety initiative.
Reported by D. Bedford from 1st person reporting and other published sources. 9/26/13
Nom de plume: Goldfinch. 9/26
Report from WHYY.org Delaware desk:
State of Delaware news advisory: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/pressreleases/2013/ma_concussionsummit-092313.html