All injuries suspected of being a concussion must be evaluated by a physician experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related concussions.
Once the diagnosis of concussion has been made, there is a required step-wise process for return to play.
- Spend 1-2 days at each level before moving to the next.
- If you develop symptoms, NOTIFY YOUR COACH OR ATHLETIC TRAINER IMMEDIATELY. Rest one day, then resume at the previous level.
- Written physician clearance required between levels 1-2 and 5-6.
ImPACT: All players should have a baseline test on file. Once symptom-free and ready to proceed to contact training (Stage 6), it is strongly recommended that players return for a post-injury test. This will be done free-of-charge. For athletes under the care of a physician at Stanford Children’s Health, this will be included in the decision-making for clearance. For athletes being cared for by other providers, the test results will be provided on paper to the family and can be shared/used by the outside treating physician as deemed appropriate.
In conjunction with Stanford Children’s Health, RAGE will coordinate ImPACT Baseline Testing for all players over the age of 13 every 1-2 years.
All completed tests are reviewed for validity by Stanford Children’s Health Sports Medicine Physician, Dr. Christine Boyd. Should a test be invalid, you will be contacted by the clinic directly. Invalid tests happen for several reasons and are usually valid once repeated.
But what happens now? Hopefully nothing. We want all players to have a healthy, successful season.
However, should your daughter sustain a concussion or symptoms concerning for a concussion, she will need to be evaluated by a medical professional. Most pediatricians in the area feel comfortable treating concussions. Dr. Boyd also manages concussions in the Stanford Children’s Health Orthopedic office. You’re welcome to choose any doctor you wish for this treatment.
Once your daughter is feeling better and ready to return, her doctor should begin a ‘Return to Play’ step-wise program and monitor her symptoms and progress. Once symptom-free and ready to return, she will need written clearance to return to full play. At any time along the treatment process, your doctor can request your daughter take a post-injury ImPACT exam to evaluate her cognitive status. This can be done at no cost at Stanford Children’s Health. The test would then be printed for you to share with your care provider. Interpretation will be done by the doctor requesting the test.
Some important things to note:
- Baseline ImPACT tests are recommended for athletes over the age of 13 and to be repeated every 1-2 years.
- Written clearance by a medical provider is needed for any athlete suspected of having a concussion. This is a state law.
- A repeat ImPACT test is strongly recommended but not required for clearance.
- An ImPACT test does not diagnose a concussion. It is a tool for assessing the progress of an already diagnosed, healing concussion.
- Some doctors use multiple post-injury tests to monitor symptoms. This is purely doctor preference.
- All post-injury tests are free of charge when repeated at Stanford Children’s Health.
- ImPACT tests are used across the nation. These baseline tests are a helpful part of your daughters’ medical record as she continues to grow as an athlete.
For any specific questions please feel free to reach out to our partners at Stanford Children’s Health. Laura Fleisher, ATC firstname.lastname@example.org