AUSTIN (KXAN) - Changes can be expected as to how schools will handle student-athletes who suffer concussions after the Medical Advisory Committee of the University Interscholastic League proposes amendments to the current protocol.
The committee will present on Oct. 17 recommendations to the Legislative Council Standing Committee that it adopt and follow guidelines issued by the American Academy of Neurology .
The guidelines, if adopted, and additional information about concussions will be included in next year's UIL parent information manual, the UIL website and other UIL publications, according to the committee.
The recommended amendments to the UIL Concussion Management Protocol include:
- A student-athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion must be evaluated by a licensed health care professional to determine if the student-athlete has sustained a concussion.
- If a licensed health care professional is not available, a supervising adult approved by the school district and who has appropriate training on concussion evaluation and management may evaluate student-athletes suspected of sustaining concussions.
- If a student-athlete sustains a concussion, he or she will not be allowed to return to play on the same day. Current guidelines stipulate that a student-athlete who sustains a concussion could return to play on the same day if the student was symptom free after 15 minutes of evaluation and testing.
- Return to play decisions will be made by a licensed health care professional, and after written clearance will follow a stepwise progression back to full participation.
- Any subsequent concussion sustained by a student-athlete will require further medical evaluation by a licensed health care professional, which could include a physical examination. Under the recommendation, written clearance by a licensed health care professional must be obtained for the student-athlete to return to practice or contests.
The Medical Advisory Committee serves as a permanent advisory committee to the UIL Legislative Council. The UIL Legislative Council and the commissioner of education must approve any amendments to the UIL constitution and contest rules.
If passed, the approved recommendations would take effect in the 2011-12 school year.
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