Pleasant Hill HS/MS Athletics – Concussion Policy
Per the OSAA rules, any student suspected of having a concussion will be removed from practice/competition. If an Athletic Trainer is present at the practice/game and definitively determines that the athlete does not exhibit signs or symptoms of a concussion, then the athlete will be able to return to activity on that day. If the Athletic Trainer determines that the athlete does exhibit signs or symptoms of a concussion, the athlete will not be returned to activity until completing this following graduated, step-wise return to play protocol (from the OSAA handbook):
1. No activity – Complete rest, physically and cognitively. This may include staying home from school or limiting school hours and/or homework as activities requiring concentration and attention may worsen symptoms and delay recovery.
2. Light aerobic exercise – Walking or stationary bike at low intensity; no weight lifting or resistance training.
(Before progressing to the next stage the student must be healthy enough to return to school full time)
3. Sport-specific exercise – Sprinting, dribbling basketball or soccer; no helmet or equipment, no head impact activities.
4. Non-contact training – More complex drills in full equipment. Weight training or resistance training may begin.
5. Full contact practice – Participate in normal activities.
6. Unrestricted return-to-participation
The athlete should spend a minimum of one day at each step. If symptoms re-occur, the athlete must stop the activity and contact their Athletic Trainer or other health care professional. Depending on the specific type and severity of the symptoms, the athlete may be told to rest for 24 hours and then resume activity one step below where they were at when the symptoms occurred. Graduated return applies to all activities including sports and PE classes.
In addition to completing this return-to-play protocol, per the OSAA rules, an athlete must have a clearance note signed by one of the following health care professionals: Physician (MD), Physician’s Assistant (PA), Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) licensed by the Oregon State Board of Medicine, nurse practitioner (NP) licensed by the Oregon State Board of Nursing, or Psychologist licensed by the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners.
Here at Pleasant Hill, we also utilize ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) to determine when an athlete’s cognitive abilities have returned to their baseline. Before an athlete will be allowed to return to full participation, they must re-take the ImPACT test and the results must show that they have returned to their baseline levels. Most physicians require that the athlete take and pass the test before they will sign off on a full release, so most of the time, this testing is completed before the athlete goes to their health care provider to be cleared. When this test is taken is up to the discretion of the Athletic Trainer, but it is most often completed after the athlete’s symptoms have disappeared, but before they return to full practice.