Concussion Policy



Name of Policy
H.S.D Concussion Policy

Effective Date: -    1st October 2015
Review Date: -       31st  May 2017
Status –  Active 

Date Approved by HSD Education Committee

Recommended for Authorisation:

Signature: _____________________________           Date: ______________

Authorised by:

Signature: _____________________________           Date: _____________

Table of Contents

1.     Purpose

2.     Review History

3.     Persons Affected

4.     Procedure Statement

5.     Definitions – signs and symptoms

6.     Recognise and Remove

7.     Staff Responsibilities

8.     Procedures

1.     Purpose
The purpose of this document is to provide information and guidance to all staff members who are placed in a situation where a student in their care has potentially suffered a concussive event.
Concussion must be taken extremely seriously. Ignoring the signs and symptoms of concussion may result in a prolonged recovery period, a more serious brain injury or even death.

2.     Review History
This policy is to be reviewed on an annual basis with documented dates for each review.
The review is to be undertaken by the School Nurse and Sports Co-ordinator.
Any changes need to be documented and then approved by the Education committee.

Date of Review
Sports Co-ordinator
Education committee

3.     Persons Affected
a)     Nurse
b)    All Teaching Staff
c)     External Coaches
d)    Parents
e)     Pupils
f)      Ancillary Staff – Catering, Supervisors, Caretaking, Administration, Special needs assistants.

4.     Procedure Statement
a)     STOP – player must be removed from the activity and not allowed to return.
b)    INFORM – parents, school nurse and sports co-ordinator of injury
c)     REST – player must not return to any activity until they have completed the graduated return to play(GRTP)
d)    RETURN – player may return after completion of GRTP or have been cleared for return to play by a medically trained professional i.e. GP

5.     Definitions.
What is Concussion?
Concussion is a traumatic brain injury. It is a complex process in which forces are transmitted to the brain and result in temporary impairment of BRAIN FUNCTION rather than a structural injury to the brain.
Concussion can have a significant impact on the short and long term health of the player if not managed correctly.
What causes Concussion?
Concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head or body and from whiplash type movements of the head and neck that can occur when a player collides with another player or the ground or is struck with an object.
Immediately following a suspected concussion the brain is susceptible to further significant damage in the event of another impact. (Secondary Impact Syndrome).

6.     Recognize and Remove
Concussion should be suspected if one or more of the following visible clues, signs, symptoms or errors in answering memory questions are present.

i)                   Visible clues of suspected concussion
Any one or more of the following visual clues can indicate a possible concussion:
-         Loss of consciousness
-         Lying motionless on ground/ slow to get up
-         Unsteady on feet/ Balance problems or falling over/ Incoordination
-         Grabbing / Clutching of head
-         Dazed, blank or vacant look
-         Confused/ Not aware of plays, place or events

ii)                Signs and Symptoms of Concussion.
Presence of any one or more of the following signs and symptoms may suggest a concussion
·        Loss of Consciousness
·        Seizure or convulsion
·        Balance problems
·        Nausea (feeling sick) or Vomiting
·        Drowsiness
·        Player is more emotional
·        Irritability
·        Sadness
·        Fatigue or low energy
·        Player is more nervous or anxious
·        Confusion
·        ‘Don’t feel right’
·        Headache
·        Dizziness
·        Feeling slowed down

If ANY of the following are reported then the player should be safely and immediately removed from the field. If no qualified medical professional is available, consider transporting by ambulance for urgent medical assessment:
-         Athlete complains of neck pain
-         Increased confusion or irritability
-         Repeated vomiting
-         Seizure or Convulsion
-         Weakness or tingling/ burning in arms or legs
-         Deteriorating conscious state
-         Severe or increasing headache
-         Unusual behaviour change
-         Double-vision
7.     Staff Responsibilities

i)                   Every sports coaching staff/teacher to be given concussion recognition booklet.
ii)                 Any casualty suffering a potentially concussive incident is immediately removed from play/ training and is supervised by a responsible adult until medical care / parent is sourced.
iii)               A medical incident report form to be completed by witness as soon as conveniently possible.
iv)               The school nurse is informed promptly.
v)                 Ensure that parents are informed either by staff member or through the school nurse.
vi)               Sports co-ordinator to post all incidents/dates of concussion and suspected concussion on staff room notice-board and inform school nurse.
vii)             Sports co-ordinator to maintain list of all concussions occurring in the school.
viii)           Sports co-ordinator to place all sport related concussed students into GRTP protocol and monitor their re-introduction back into activity.
ix)               Medical practitioner clearance certificates to be held by school nurse and copy taken by sports co-ordinator for sporting students.
x)                 Concussions occurring at away venues - staff should contact host school nurse if available. Complete incident report form to HSD nurse and inform Sports co-ordinator.

Student Responsibilities 
i)                   To inform teacher/coaches of occurrence of injury.
ii)                 Individual player honesty relating to injury symptoms.

8.     Procedures
All students suffering a concussive event or suspected concussive event will be entered into graduated return to play (GRTP) protocol and not allowed to return to participate until cleared by a medical practitioner or (GRTP) protocol completed.

R. Walker   Sports Co-ordinator
U. Bingel    School Nurse
January 2016

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