Loma Linda, CA (PRWEB) March 23, 2013
A pediatric neurologist from Loma Linda University Medical Center has co-authored a new guideline adopted by the American Academy of Neurology for sports concussions recommending that injured players immediately be taken out of the game.
Dr. Stephen Ashwal, of Loma Linda University Medical Center, is co-author with researchers from other institutions of the new evidence-based guideline for evaluating and managing athletes with concussion. The new guideline is an update to the AAN’s previous concussion guideline that was published in 1997.
The new guideline was published March 18 in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The guideline may be accessed by going to http://neurology.org/content/early/2013/03/15/WNL.0b013e31828d57dd
“This guideline will be very important for athletes, their families, coaches and trainers and other sideline personnel,” said Dr. Ashwal. “Many athletes who have had a concussion do not realize that they have had a brain injury and it is not uncommon for them to either not recognize or to deny their symptoms.”
He said other important points to remember:
The updated guideline recommends that athletes with suspected concussion be immediately taken out of the game and not returned until assessed by a licensed health care professional trained in sports injuries, that they return to play slowly and only after all acute symptoms have resolved. Athletes of high school age and younger with a concussion should be managed more conservatively in regard to return to play, as evidence shows that they take longer to recover than college athletes.
The guideline was developed reviewing all available evidence published through June 2012. These practice recommendations are based on an evaluation of the best available research. In recognition that scientific study and clinical care for sports concussions involves multiple specialties, a broad range of expertise was incorporated in the author panel. These included adult and child neurologists, neuropsychologists, experts in sports medicine and neurosurgeons. To develop this document, the authors spent thousands of work hours locating and analyzing scientific studies. The authors excluded studies that did not provide enough evidence to make recommendations, such as reports on individual patients or expert opinion. At least two authors independently analyzed and graded each study.
According to the guideline:
Signs and symptoms of a concussion include:
About Loma Linda University Health (LLUH)
Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University's eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center's six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, LLUH is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, LLUH is a faith-based health system with a mission "to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ."