Concussion Management


Concussion: A trauma-induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. 
Concussions may be characterized by one or more of the following frequently observed features:

  • Headache

  • Dizziness or Vertigo

  • Vacant Stare (befuddled facial expressions)

  • Delayed Verbal and Motor Responses (slow to answer questions or follow instructions)

  • Confusion and inability to focus attention (easily distracted and unable to follow through with normal activities)

  • Disorientation (Walking in wrong direction, unaware of person, place or time, Lack of awareness of surroundings)

  • Slurred or incoherent speech (disjointed or incomprehensible statements)

  • Nausea or Vomiting

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ear)

  • Sensitivity to light or sound

  • Sleep disturbances (fatigue, sleeping more or less than usual)

  • Observable lack of coordination (Stumbling, inability to walk in straight line)

  • Emotions out of proportion to circumstances (out-of-place crying, distraught, overreaction)

  • Memory Deficits (repetitive questioning by athlete, unable to memorize 3 of 3 objects or word in 5 minutes, serial 7’s, etc.)

  • Any period of Loss of Consciousness


Immediate Care

If a student-athlete exhibits signs and symptoms consistent with a concussion (even if not formally diagnosed), the student-athlete is to be removed from play and is not allowed to return to play (game, practice, or conditioning) on that day. 

Student-athletes are encouraged to report their own symptoms, or to report if peers may have concussion symptoms. Coaches, parents, volunteers, first responders, school nurse, and licensed athletic trainers, are responsible for removing a student-athlete from play if they suspect a concussion.

Following the injury, the student-athlete should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional with training in concussion management (MD, DO, or LAT)

LHSAA Return to Play Concussion Form: Once an athlete has been diagnosed with a concussion, the LHSAA form must be signed by the appropriate medical provider and returned to the athletic trainer. This form contains instructions for the athletic trainer and no return to play procedures will begin until the athlete is cleared.
Any student-athlete diagnosed with a concussion shall not return to activity for the remainder of the day.  Medical clearance to return will be coordinated by the physician in conjunction with the licensed athletic trainer.


Follow Up Care

Any student-athlete with a diagnosed concussion will follow up with certified athletic trainer daily for reassessment, and if needed with team physician for further evaluation and/or diagnostic testing.