contributions by Kevin D. Heaton, DO
New Jersey Lawmakers are making a push for national regulations and a formal protocol for concussion management. In a recent statement, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascall, announced that the Centers for Disease Control have agreed to research and develop formal guidelines for concussion management in youth sports. The CDC has set a goal to have a formal national protocol by 2014.
Concussion treatment varies widely among different physicians. Often times management is not based on scientific evidence or even expert consensus. This announcement points out an important need for better general concussion protocols to make sure everyone is getting the best possible care. At Access Sports Medicine we specialize in concussions and have developed our own Concussion Management Protocol to make sure we are treating patients consistently and appropriately based on the best possible medical evidence and expert consensus available today. Our comprehensive protocol include specific recommendations for mental and physical rest following a head-injury and a carefully monitored return to play progression utilizing ImPACT Neurocognitive Testing. ImPACT testing, physical exams, balance testing, symptom scores and cooperation with coaches, parents, trainers and athletes help our physicians determine when it is safe for an athlete to return to the field.