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Out there in the real world, one athletic trainer experienced the following:

The word concussion has become popular among people of all ages, life events, and levels of sport. I have found that many coaches are being educated more thoroughly on concussions in the courses they must attend as part of their coaching training. Whether at the high school or collegiate level, guidelines have been addressed by the governing sport associations about ways to manage an athlete who sustains a concussion. To ensure consistency within our program, I have recently proposed a concussion policy for the local hospital. This policy is a detailed return-to-play guideline for the area high school athletic trainers. The medical director of the hospital was consulted regarding concussion protocols that were important to implement into this policy. A computer-based program and a list of possible symptoms caused by functional sport-specific drills are just a couple of areas addressed within the policy. Because of the frequent occurrence of concussions, it is important for every organization to have a policy in place to consistently and properly care for athletes who sustain a concussion.

Melissa Noble, AT, ATC

Head AT, Fairlawn High School

Assistant AT, Sidney High School

Wilson Memorial Hospital

Sidney, Ohio


learning outcomes

After working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Identify risk-management procedures involved in athletic training.

  2. Identify the steps needed to follow through with the risk-management procedures that have been established.

  3. Develop emergency action plans (EAPs) and identify changes that need to be made in existing EAPs.

  4. Identify the necessary components of preparticipation physicals and describe the importance of these physicals.


John Wreck is employed by a hospital as an athletic training program coordinator who oversees eight high school athletic trainers (ATs). The hospital administration approaches him about creating a concussion policy in line with current guidelines that the high school ATs will follow when a concussion is suspected or diagnosed. Mr. Wreck wants the policy to be a concussion-management plan directed by the team physician that will outline the roles and responsibilities of the athletic training staff. He also researches the state's high school athletic association rules and guidelines on concussion management. The high schools will now be required to purchase ImPACT (Fig. 26-1), a computerized neurocognitive assessment program. In addition, with the new program, Mr. Wreck wants to be sure that the topic of concussion management is thoroughly addressed with the athletes and their parents before the season begins. An acknowledgment statement must be signed by the coaches, athletes, and parents during the preseason.

Figure 26-1:

John Wreck's ImPACT.

  1. Based on ...

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