How Long Is Concussion Protocol (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7-14 Days

A concussion is an injury to the brain that can result in a temporary loss of brain functioning. A concussion can also be described as the immediate and transient alteration in the functioning of the brain involving alteration of mental status or the consciousness level. The main causes of concussion may include mechanical force or trauma.

A concussion can also be trauma because of falling, getting hit or getting in an accident. This is the cause of rapid acceleration or deceleration of head injuries. People may or may not lose consciousness in concussion. External signs of head injuries like bleeding and outer injury can also be possible. There are many organisations that have a protocol if a concussion happens in any area.

How Long Is Concussion Protocol?

OrganisationDuration of Protocol
High School7 Days
NFL8 Days

A concussion can have short or long-term effects on memory. Some of the symptoms are affecting speech, memory, balance, speed, or muscle coordination. People who have concussions can have amnesia or forgetfulness. People with concussions may act confused or dazed. The mild consciousness should be taken into care. A concussion can also make you permanently disabled. MRI can be used to test concussions.

Concussion protocol helps the doctors and caregivers form a codification and manage or treat the patients well. The idea behind concussion protocol is to test if the patient is totally fine and will be able to head home after complete healing of the brain injury. This means establishing a safer environment for them and for the people surrounding them. The recovery from a concussion varies on the severity.

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A concussion protocol can include steps like guidelines for the diagnosis and clinical signs, monitoring practices throughout the recovery process reintroducing physical activities, assessing the further symptoms or signs of any future concussion, and receiving a medical clearance to return back to activities or playing. The concussion protocols include a number of steps that can be performed in the emergency room or in the ground.

The first step of concussion protocol is interviewing to evaluate the loss of memory from the before of the event and afterward, checking awareness and responsiveness. The second step is an assessment of the severity in regards to the scale of the symptoms to measure effects on memory, attention, or balance. The final step is neurological tests to assess strength, reflexes, mental status, or coordination.

Why Is Concussion Protocol This Long?

The concussion protocol is necessary to examine the reach of damage for the healthy lifestyle of a person. A minimum rest of 7 days is necessary to not have any consecutive concussions. The CDC has a special bunch of guidelines to ensure normal activities, schooling and practicing athletics, Rest and return to limited activities and further increasing the activities with the following duration is important.

Light aerobic exercises, sport-specific exercises, non-contact drills followed by an increase of full-time practices should be followed. NFL also has a special list of guidelines because of the head injury and traumas during games. Proper medical clearance is needed before returning to the game of NFL. The protocols and additional recommendations are to be followed before resuming the team.

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The concussion protocols to resume playing according to NFL includes symptom-limited activity that is an introduction to light physical activities after a rest period. Aerobic exercises include training, balance and aerobic work. For football, specific exercises should be done with noncontact practice drills with the team. Club-based contact drilling like throwing, catching, running etc. should be started followed by a full activity clearance by both the team and independent neurological consultant.

Conclusion

The duration of concussion protocol depends on the recovery rate of the person. The minimum duration for which concussion protocol should be followed is 7 days. Steps involving the concussion protocols for NFL and CDS should be followed accordingly. Special rest sessions followed by a slight introduction of physical activities and walking should be done. For players, the activities should be done in groups as well.

Aerobic exercise, metal stability, throwing, catching, walking are some of the examples of activities that should be introduced. Further, assistance from the neurological consultant is necessary. Only after a special time and report, the normal activities should be continued.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1179069518824125
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2325967120913020
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