Concussion Protocol

Hawley ISD Concussion Management

Texas Legislature passed HB 2038 which Governor Perry signed into law during the summer 2011. HB 2038 mandates that each school district have a concussion oversight team which designs and implements the protocol for the diagnosis, treatment, and return to play of any student athlete who sustains a concussion. The Concussion Oversight Team for Hawley ISD that designed the protocol listed later on this page is comprised of:

Dr Paul Watts D.O. - Abilene Bone and Joint 325-672-4372

Justin Harrison PA-C - Abilene Bone and Joint 325-672-4372

Tania McKinney LAT - Abilene Bone and Joint 325-280-0759

Jennifer Hicks FNP-C 325-665-1326

Definition of Concussion

There are numerous definitions of concussion available in medical literature as well as

in the previously noted "guidelines" developed by the various state organizations. The

feature universally expressed across definitions is that concussion 1) is the result of a

physical, traumatic force to the head and 2) that force is sufficient to produce altered

brain function which may last for a variable duration of time. For the purpose of this

program the definition presented in Chapter 38, Sub Chapter D of the Texas Education

Code is considered appropriate:

"Concussion" means a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain caused

by a traumatic physical force or impact to the head or body, which may:

(A) include temporary or prolonged altered brain function resulting in physical,

cognitive, or emotional symptoms or altered sleep patterns; and

(B) involve loss of consciousness.

Hawley ISD Concussion Management Protocol

The cornerstone of concussion management is physical and cognitive rest until symptoms resolve and then a graded exertional protocol prior to medical clearance and return to play. During this period of recovery, while still symptomatic, it is important to emphasize to the athlete that physical AND cognitive rest is required. Activities that require concentration and attention (e.g., scholastic work, videogames, text messaging, etc.) may exacerbate symptoms and possibly delay recovery. In such cases, the Hawley ISD Concussion Oversight Team will work in conjunction with the athlete, teachers, and parents to ensure appropriate accommodations according to physician recommendations and observations.

In the event a student athlete is suspected of a concussion the student will be:

  1. Removed from athletic participation immediately

  2. Evaluated by a Licensed Physician and the Hawley ISD Athletic Trainer

  3. Administered a Post-Concussion assessment using established medical protocols

  4. Progressed through return to play protocol under the direction of a Licensed Physician.

  5. Released to participation with written clearance from Physician, Athletic Trainer and Parents.

Concussion Management

1. Student must show no signs of post concussion symptoms for 24hrs before return to play protocol begins as well as be released by a physician to begin protocol.

2. The treating physician must provide a written statement to the parents and Hawley ISD indicating that, in the physician's professional judgment, it is safe for the student to return to play.

3. Parent/Guardian must sign the concussion management protocol return to play form acknowledging the completion of the return to play guidelines which includes the understanding risks associated with the student athletes return to play

Return to play guidelines

Athlete must show no signs of post concussion symptoms before return to play protocol begins. If an athlete returns to activity before being fully healed from an initial concussion, the athlete is at greater risk for a repeat concussion. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain has a chance to recover from the first can slow recovery or increase the chance for long-term problems. In rare cases, a repeat concussion can result in severe swelling and bleeding in the brain that can be fatal.

1. Athlete activity progressions

A. Phase I - No exertional activity until the student athlete is symptom free for 24hrs

B. Phase II -

Step 1: Light aerobic exercise- 5 to 10 minutes on an exercise bike or light jog; no weight lifting,

resistance training, or any other exercises.

Step 2: Moderate aerobic exercise- 15 to 20 minutes of running at moderate intensity in the gym or on the field without a helmet or other equipment.

Step 3: Non-contact training drills in full uniform. May begin weight lifting, resistance training,

and other exercises.

Step 4: Full contact practice or training.

Step 5: Full game play.

NOTE: If symptoms of a concussion re-occur, or if concussion signs and/or behaviors are observed at any time during the return to activity program, the athlete must discontinue all activity and be re-evaluated by their health care provider.


Concussion Resources

Concussion Action Plan
Fact Sheet for Youth Coaches
Fact Sheet for High School Athletes
Fact Sheet for Middle School Athletes
Fact Sheet for Parents
Concussion State Law
Hawley ISD Current Symptom Form
UIL Return to Play Form