WHEN CAN I RETURN TO PLAY?
Only when the patient is completely symptom free and off of all medication can they begin to start the process of returning to play. The ultimate decision for obvious reasons needs to be made by a medical doctor, if available a neurologist, neurosurgeon or fellowship trained sports medicine physician, 24 hours (or longer) especially in younger children; concussion experts recommend 72 hours between stages. At present there are a number of guidelines on when a player should return to play, however no consensus on which is best. The American Academy of Neurology has updated their guidelines, and members of its Sports Neurology Section has drafted the following position statement on sports concussion.
2. No athlete should be allowed to participate in sports if they are still experiencing symptoms from a concussion.
3. Following a concussion, a neurologist should be consulted prior to clearing the athlete for return to participation.
4. A certified athletic trainer should be present at all sporting events, including practices, where athletes are at risk for concussion.
5. Education efforts should be maximized to improve the understanding of concussion by all athletes, parents, and coaches.
A detailed guidelines has been published in the SCAT3 (a standardized tool for evaluating athletes for concussion) and the following protocols is recommended for concussed athleres to adhere to in order for a safe Return to Play: