In this episode of Ask Concussion Doc, we discussed concussion law in Ontario (Rowan’s Law – Concussion Safety), the differences between paediatric and adult concussion management, and the potential long-term impact of multiple concussion injuries.
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Considerations for Adult Concussion Management vs. Paediatric
Initially, it can difficult to establish symptoms for children or youth that suffered a concussion. This could be as a result of their lower vocabulary or inability to convey what they are feeling or experiencing after an injury. Therefore, it’s important for healthcare practitioners to use the child version of the SCAT5, which is designed for children aged 5 – 12 years old and includes terminology that may be more recognizable to a younger patient.
Dr. Marshall also discussed key considerations of acute management for various age groups. This includes ruling out red flags and more serious brain injuries such as bleeds, fractures and swelling in the brain, among others. Of note, there are certain things that healthcare practitioners need to determine. For example, whether or not a patient should be sent to the emergency department (or hospital), or for a CT scan or other imaging. Dr. Marshall explains some of the tools available during this episode.
Importantly, there are two key phrases that we all should know: When in doubt, sit them out! And, when in doubt, refer them out!
Concussion Law in Ontario: Rowan’s Law (Concussion Safety)
Rowan’s Law is new concussion law in Ontario, which is designed to protect amateur athletes and make sport safer. While the provincial government is still going through the regulatory process to determine all the details and next steps, there are a few items that are currently in action:
- Education: Annual review of concussion awareness materials at the association level that help to prevent, identify and manage concussions. Coaches, teachers, trainers and other sideline personnel are required to review these resources before a season starts.
- Return to Activity Protocols: Immediate removal from sport and return to play protocols following a suspected concussion.
- Concussion Code of Conduct: Implement a concussion code of conduct to minimize head injuries and concussions in sport.
- Rowan’s Law Day (third Wednesday in September).
Complete Concussion Management works with hundreds of sports organizations and schools to implement and enhance concussion programs and policies. Contact us for more information.
Long-term Impact of Multiple Concussions
There are a growing number of studies and information in this area, but we still do not yet have a causative link between concussions, multiple concussion, head trauma, and CTE or long-term neurodegenerative effect. Watch or listen to complete episode below!