Administrative Procedures

Medical - Concussion

Health & Safety AP 775

Background

The Superintendent demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the health of the Division’s staff, students and community stakeholder and, recognizes that concussions are a significant public health issue because of their potential short- and long-term consequences.

This Administrative Procedure exists to provide guidance toward concussion prevention, recognition, response and/or treatment.

Definitions

a) Concussion: means the definition of concussion from the 2012 Zurich Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport: “Concussion is a brain injury and is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces.”

In plain language, a concussion:

a. Is a brain injury that causes changes in how the brain functions, leading to symptoms that can be physical (e.g. headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g., difficulty concentrating or remembering), emotional/behavioural (e.g., depression, irritability) and/or related to sleep (e.g., drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep);

b. May be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face or neck, or a blow to the body that transmits a force to the head that causes the brain to move rapidly within the skull;

c. Can occur even if there has been no loss of consciousness (in fact most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness); and

d. Cannot normally be seen on x-rays, standard CT scans or MRIs.

b)  Diagnosis: means a clinical diagnosis made by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. It is critical that an individual with a suspected concussion be examined by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.

c)  Suspected Concussion: means the recognition that an individual appears to have either experienced an injury or impact that may result in a concussion, or is exhibiting unusual behaviour that may be the result of concussion.

Procedures

1. Every teacher, student, volunteer and coach shall receive concussion education annually, as age-appropriate and prudent to do so.

2. Concussion education may be in document form and shall include the following topics:

2.1.  Physiology of a concussion;

2.2.  Early recognition of signs and symptoms of a concussion;

2.3.  Strategies to promote a sport injury-free culture for the prevention of sport-specific concussion;

2.4.  The publicly posted Concussion Action Plan;

2.5.  Information regarding returning to learn and play following a concussion.

3. Staff are required to ensure that all activities adhere to the rules of proper play that are well-established for the game or activity being played:

3.1.  Rules shall be consistently enforced in order to effectively ensure safe play;

3.2.  All activity participants shall behave ethically at all times; and

3.3.  Sport-specific concussion prevention strategies shall be implemented for any activity as prudent to do so.

4. A Concussion Action Plan shall be available and posted appropriately and implemented at all activities and events, in case of a concussion or suspected concussion, to allow proper care for athletes when a suspected concussion occurs.

4.1. An acceptable Concussion Action Plan is available for download and distribution from the Alberta Concussion Alliance [http://www.sportmedab.ca/ab-concussion- alliance].

5. Staff responding to a suspected concussion shall appropriately document the incident using the Accident Report and First Aid Record Form.

6. The Principal shall ensure that an appropriate method exists to track missed school and sport time and provide this to the injured student as this may be valuable in the event of an additional concussion.

7. Returning to play shall not be made possible without appropriate medical documentation and relevant instruction after appropriate cognitive and physical rest.

7.1.  24 hours wait time shall be applied before moving from one step in recovery to the next and the student must be asymptomatic throughout this process;

7.2.  If symptoms reappear, an additional 24 hour wait time shall be applied after symptoms have subsided and the student shall start at the step previous.

7.2.1. This process should be medically guided.

 

Approved: 

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Date Approved: February 5, 2020

Reference: Education Act: 31, 32, 33, 35.1, 196-197, 222
Emergency Medical Aid Act (E- 7 RSA 2000)
Sports Medicine Council of Alberta

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: January, 2021

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.