AAN Concussion Guidelines – One Stop Post

Here is the presser for the updated AAN Sports Concussion Guidelines; their guidelines are simple and to the point, via YouTube;

  • No Grading System of concussion
  • 10 day rest period – “key” – Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher
  • Greater risk if you have had a concussion
  • Addressing of youth and recovery
  • Helmets are not the full answer
  • Licensed Health Care Providers should be clearing
  • Repetitive head injuries are bad
  • The discovery and annotation of “Chronic Cognitive Impairment”
  • No single test, CLINICAL assessment
  • “Kids are not little adults.” – Dr. Christopher Giza

Here is the LINK to the Updated Guidelines (can someone give me permission to post it here?)

Here is the LINK to the Sports Concussion Toolkit from AAN

Here is the LINK to the Concussion Quick Check from AAN

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What does this mean in comparison to the Zurich Statement?  That is a great question; both groups used “consensus” however this group is much more centered on American practices.  Both have similar approaches, both advise nearly the same thing; but which one carries more weight.  I have been told the AAN will be much more “powerful”, respected and learned than Zurich.

This is a good debate, regardless, there is ample evidence to sit kids and any concussed individual.  This statement also continues the wave of information that cumulative and repetitive trauma to the brain (still figuring out thresholds) is not good.  Based on this and the Zurich statement the only way that we can collectively abate concussions at this point is exposure limitation.  No where in that last sentence does it state “stop playing sports,” or “get rid of football”.

When dealing with the brain and the injury of the brain less is better, which is ironically simple and a “no brainer”.

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AAN: “A New Game Plan for Concussion”

The American Academy of Neurology has defined a more comprehensive stance when dealing with concussions.  The AAN released a position statement regarding the initial management of concussions, last November;

1. Any athlete who is suspected to have suffered a concussion should be removed from participation until he or she is evaluated by a physician with training in the evaluation and management of sports concussions.

2. No athlete should be allowed to participate in sports if he or she is still experiencing concussion symptoms.

3. Following a concussion, a neurologist or physician with proper training should be consulted prior to clearing the athlete for return to participation.

4. A certified athletic trainer should be present at all sporting events, including practices, where athletes are at risk for concussion.

5. Education efforts should be maximized to improve the understanding of concussion by all athletes, parents, and coaches.

Neurology Now a publication for “healthy living for parents and their families” has published an article by Kate Gamble that takes a closer look at why the statement was made.  With the back drop of new and expanding research along with stories like Tommy Mallon Gamble interviews the likes of Dr. Julian Bailes and Dr. Jeffery Kutcher to explain why we need to readjust the stigma of concussions; Continue reading

American Academy of Neurology Recommendation

In a statement released today the American Academy of Neurology made recommendations for dealing with and treating concussions.  Here are the “Cliff’s Notes”

  • An athlete suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from competition until evaluated by a doctor trained in assessing and treating sports concussions. Symptoms like unconsciousness, unsteadiness, problems with memory or concentration, dizziness or headache are warning signs, Kutscher said.
  • No athlete with symptoms should be allowed to take part in sports.
  • After a concussion, a neurologist or another physician with proper training should be consulted before the athlete is allowed to return to sports.
  • A certified athletic trainer should be present at all sporting events, including practices, where athletes are at risk for concussion.

In a story brought to us by Forbes, several MD’s were quoted in the story.

Dr. Jeff Kutscher, chair of the academy’s sports neurology section, said the academy’s current guidelines on managing concussions and when to return to play were written in 1997, and experience since then has shown they are inadequate. Experts hope to publish new guidelines by 2012, following a careful review of published studies, he said.

Dr. Kutscher also was keen on the certified athletic trainers being available for contact sports.  He even went as far as suggesting that if schools/teams did not have access to one, they should consider not having the sports.

Certified athletic trainers now work at about 40 percent of the nation’s high schools and are rarely provided for athletes in younger grades, said Kevin Guskiewicz of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

It would be a struggle to find enough of them to cover high schools and also programs for younger athletes, he said.