Due to the California State Law AB25 reguarding concussions, the following information can help you understand what protocols we follow at Damien High School. Concussions are a hot topic in the world of Sports Medicine and more research is being completed to truly understand the long term effects of concussions on the adolescent brain. We strive to keep your son safe and to get him back to his sport as soon as it is safe to do so.
All concussions are a Brain Injury. They will not be seen on an x-ray or CT unless there is bleeding within the brain. Concussions are a metabolic disruption within the brain. They are taken seriously, even if they are considered "minor" or "bell rung". Any suspicion of a concussion, the child is removed from play immediately and is evaluated by the athletic trainer with cognitive, neurologic and balance testing. The child is then required by law to see a MD or DO for release to play. A DOCTORS NOT DOES NOT MEAN IMMEDIATE RETURN TO PLAY! The doctor's note (once it is turned into our athletic trainers) will begin the Return to Play protocol. Based on a child's symptoms, the return to play protocol can be a little as 4 days to multiple weeks. The child must be completely free of symptoms before they can begin the return to play protocol. They will be re-evaluated by the athletic trainer and the athletic trainer will have the final say when the child may return.
This process is in place to protect your son's brain from damage and death. Athletes under the age of 23 years old are prone to Second Impact Syndrome. This is when a child returns to play too soon following an initial concussion, their symptoms are not completely gone and they receive another impact to the brain. A second impact to the body or head when previous concussion symptoms are present can cause the brain to swell uncontrollably leaving the athlete brain damaged or with a fatal injury.
If you have any questions regarding our procedures or would like to get more information, please contact our Sports Medicine Director and Head Athletic Trainer, Jessica Truax (firstname.lastname@example.org
). You can download our Head Injury Instruction sheet which includes our Return to Play Protocol here at Damien.