New York State is currently reviewing legislation regarding student athletes and brain injuries. If passed, this legislation will require school districts to establish guidelines for concussions and it will require mandatory training on brain injuries for coaches.
Because the Baldwinsville Central School District believes in the importance of being proactive to protect student health and safety, the district recently adopted a new concussion management policy that reflects current international standards and ensures that athletes return to play only when it is safe to do so. The district recognizes that a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that can last for days, weeks or even months, and returning an athlete to play before his or her brain has healed can lead to serious complications.
The district has created a protocol for district coaches, trainers, physical education teachers and nurses to follow to determine when an athlete (or any student) can return to play after exhibiting the signs or symptoms of a concussion. The district's supervising medical officers, Kaushal Nanavati, M.D., district physician, and Julie Carpenter, FNP, school nurse supervisor, as well as a committee of school nurses, trainers and coaches and Bruce Quimby, director of athletics, developed this protocol in conjunction with concussive experts in Central New York including Brian Rieger, Ph.D., director of Upstate Medical University's concussion clinic. The protocol was effective as of Nov. 2 and will be followed in all cases of suspected concussion or head injury, not just those sustained in athletic events.
According to the protocol, when a student displays signs or symptoms of a concussion or is suspected to have a brain injury after an evaluation by medical personnel or an athletic trainer at the time of the incident:
1. The student will not be allowed to return to play/activity in the current game or practice.