Concussion Protocol
North Bellmore North Merrick Basketball League
2016 – 2017

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a forceful blow or jolt to the head, or by a hit to the body that causes rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head.  The result of the injury is an impairment of neurologic function which presents with a well-defined group of symptoms.  These symptoms will resolve spontaneously with careful management.

It is important to know that not every head injury will result in a concussion. However, it is necessary to recognize the symptoms so that proper treatment is initiated.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion
Signs and symptoms of a concussion may immediately follow the head trauma or evolve gradually over several minutes to hours. Early symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, amnesia (inability to remember before or after the event), and nausea and vomiting. Over the next hours and days, patients may also complain of mood and cognitive disturbances, sensitivity to light and noise, and sleep problems.

What to do if a PLAYER sustains a head injury
If any of the following symptoms occur following a head injury, DO NOT attempt to move the individual; Call for immediate medical assistance (CALL 911):   

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizure
  • Suspected neck injury

If a PLAYER sustains a forceful blow to the head, an immediate assessment should be made by a Director (Coach or Referee if no Director is present). A few simple questions should be asked to ascertain their mental status, for example:

  • Do you know what happened?
  • Where are you right now?
  • What year/month is it?

If the PLAYER is having trouble answering these questions, the PLAYER should be removed from game.  Once it has been determined that the PLAYER should seek medical assessment by a doctor/hospital, he/she may not return to the game.  The parent should bring the PLAYER to a doctor/hospital for assessment.  If the PLAYER’s parent is not there, the parent should be contacted immediately to either pick up the PLAYER to take him/her to a doctor/hospital for assessment, or if it is not possible for the parent to come immediately, upon verbal permission, another adult should take the PLAYER to a doctor/hospital for assessment.

If no parent or other adult is available to take the PLAYER to a doctor/hospital for assessment, the PLAYER should sit out the remainder of the game and wait for an adult to bring them home and release them to a parent's care.  Alternatively, call 911 if warranted.

If after an assessment is made by a Director, Coach or Referee and there are no concerns by the assessor, the PLAYER should sit out the remainder of the period and the next full period at which time an ice pack can be applied if warranted.  After 10 minutes, a repeat sideline assessment should take place (see questions above).  If there are no concerns by the Director for a concussion, the PLAYER may return to play at that time; however if there are any concerns, the Director (or in the absence of a Director, the Coach or a Referee), may in his/her sole discretion, remove the PLAYER for the remainder of the game.  The PLAYER'S safety should be a priority.  The PLAYER should not be permitted to leave without a parent or responsible adult.  The Director should report the incident to the Division Leader.

Diagnosis and Management
A PLAYER suspected to have had a concussion should be removed from game.  His/her parent(s) are responsible to take their child to a Doctor/Hospital for evaluation. It is important to recognize that every person is different and certain modifications of this protocol may be required.   A Doctor/Hospital shall be responsible for all subsequent Diagnosis and Management.

eturn to Play
Premature return to play, when the PLAYER is still symptomatic, places that PLAYER at greater risk for subsequent injury. The most serious complication that can arise is second impact syndrome which refers to the diffuse cerebral swelling that occurs with a second concussion while an athlete is still symptomatic from an earlier concussion. While it is rare, there is a risk of fatality as a result of second impact syndrome.  

IF a PLAYER is diagnosed with a concussion, such player SHALL NOT be permitted to practice or play in his/her next game without clearance from a doctor.  The PARENT shall be responsible to provide COACH with written evidence of clearance.  The PLAYER should be symptom-free before returning to play. 

Additional information on concussion awareness can be found at   CDC developed the Heads Up Concussion in Youth sports initiative to offer coaches, parents, and athletes concussion information.  The initiative provides important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to concussion.

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