Thursday, August 27, 2009

Concussions in athletes New recommendations in Sport

In an article published in the June issue of The Physician and Sportsmedicine entitled "Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport - The Third International Conference on Concussion in Sport Held in Zurich, November 2008," new information and guidelines on the definition and treatment of concussions in athletes are presented. This is a revised and updated statement of the recommendations developed following the 1st (Vienna) and 2nd (Prague) International Symposia on Concussion in Sport. By developing core questions on how to treat concussions and best "return-to-play" recommendations, the conference members worked to improve the current recommendations as well as aiming to make this information readily available to health care professionals.

The article features numerous tips and guidelines on how to diagnose and treat individuals with concussions. Information presented includes a list of the common signs of concussions, step-by-step instructions on evaluating possible concussions, both on the sports field and in the emergency room, and a stepwise return-to-play strategy that will secure the well-being of the injured athlete. The authors also address potential complications that may influence concussion management, such as loss of consciousness, amnesia, and depression.

The article also includes smaller subsections of individuals, specifically adolescents, athletes, and non-athletes. The panel unanimously recommended that children should be completely symptom-free before returning to practice or play to prevent possible future complications. They also stated that all athletes should be given the same treatment for concussions, regardless of their level of participation.

The panel recommends that individuals should be educated on the symptoms and diagnosis of a concussion because available options for treatment are limited. By using a variety of resources, such as Web pages, educational videos, and outreach programs, the panel believes that people will become more aware of the causes and dangers of concussions.

In addition, the article contains the newly developed Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2), a standardized checklist designed for health care professionals to aid in the diagnosis of a concussion in an athlete. This new form was created to replace the original SCAT, which was published in 2005. By adding the new information from their discussion, the panel was able to create a tool that they believe will help medical professionals worldwide diagnose concussions successfully, ensuring their health and well-being.

The Physician and Sportsmedicine

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