Head Injury Protocol
ConVal High School Concussion Management Protocol
In the event that a student athlete suffers a blow to the head or fall that results in concussion-like symptoms, the following protocol will be initiated by the athletic trainer. Symptoms of a concussion include the following, but are not limited to: Headache, nausea/vomiting, confusion, blurry vision, memory loss, dizziness, sensitivity to light/noise, loss of consciousness, and feeling sluggish/slowed down.
If an athlete’s symptoms include loss of consciousness, memory loss, or nausea/vomiting, then the athlete will be referred to a physician for further evaluation. Clearance from that physician will then be required by the athletic trainer prior to making the decision for return to play for the athlete.
All ConVal athletes will perform the ImPACT test prior to the start of their respective season. This test will stand as their ‘baseline’ test and needs to be updated every two years.
The post-injury ImPACT test will be conducted one day following the injury and then at weekly intervals until baseline test scores are achieved. If an athlete becomes asymptomatic prior to day 7, the test may be administered at that time.
Once the athlete has been asymptomatic for 24 hours and baseline ImPACT scores have been achieved, the athlete may begin a progressive return to play process. No athlete will immediately enter a game. The athlete must complete a full-contact practice without any return of symptoms before being cleared for full participation.
The athlete’s return to play will progress as follows:
Day one: Low impact aerobic activity, such as stationary bike or elliptical. Target intensity should be <70% max heart rate. Activity should be done for 15-20 minutes.
Day two: Higher impact aerobic activity, such as jogging, sprinting and agility drills. Target intensity should be 70-85% max heart rate. Activity should be done for 20 minutes.
Day three: Athlete may participate in non-contact drills in practice with team.
Day four: Athlete may participate in full contact practice with team.
Day five: Return to normal, pre-injury participation.
If the athlete remains asymptomatic for 24 hours following a given day of the progression, they will move onto the next day. If at any time symptoms return, the athlete will be removed from activity and regress to the previous stage once symptoms resolve.
The athletic trainer will make the final decision to clear an athlete for full participation. This decision will be based on the following criteria: Symptoms and duration of symptoms, ImPACT test results, physician clearance, and the ability of the athlete to progress from light to high intensity activity without return of symptoms.