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The Sports Concussion Programme

Keeping the concussion discussion active and continuing on from last year’s article, I wanted to promote an excellent resource, easily accessible to everybody. It really is a link that I would love to see on every club and school website, encouraging all players, coaches and parents to be aware of concussion; the causes, symptoms and treatment.

SCAThe resource is a website called The Sports Concussion Programme. This community concussion programme focuses mainly on Australia and New Zealand at the moment but the resources are applicable worldwide and certainly in the UK. The resource is aimed at parents, coaches, teachers, school nurses and all medical staff.

The Founder, Dr. Ryan Kohler, is currently working at the Australian Institute of Sport where he has implemented an A to Z FirstResponder™ App concussion management system for Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Dr. Kohler is also co-director of the South African Sports Concussion Programme and was responsible for the implementation of the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) concussion management protocol in 2001; clearly the ‘go to’ man when concussion enters your world.

Tandem StanceThe site is undergoing regular updates and improvements and has great potential. It includes free access to online quizzes to test your knowledge.

There is also a free downloadable FirstResponder™ App for iPhone/ iPad and Android devices, which helps to recognise the warning signs of concussion, whilst still on the side-lines, within minutes.

It helps to assess memory function with a series of yes/no questions relating to the symptoms of concussion and simple memory related pictures.

The input data is summarised in a concussion assessment, which can be saved as a pdf report and emailed to your doctor.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand, a GPS map shows the location of the closest Emergency Department and medical doctor. There is the potential to include this service for the UK, by doctors simply contacting the Programme. This app also lists the concussion warning signs of structural head injury to look out for 72 hours after concussion.

balanceThere are also clear instructions and photographs for balance and symptom assessments that can be performed and the information entered on interactive forms that can be saved for your records.

Whilst touring the site, you will also come across and register for access to the Axon Sports Test where you can measure your players’ brain function with the aid of online playing cards. After having taken a baseline measurement, you can measure brain function when a concussion is suspected.

Personally, being very low tech, I am quite excited about the Wallet Card Key Tag, which can be ordered free of charge. This is conveniently designed to fit in to a wallet, pocket or on to a key ring.

The card lists a series of simple memory related questions to assess brain function specific to team and individual sports.

axon_2010_07_21-53 (1)A concise list of symptoms or warning signs indicative of concussion or serious head injury can be referred to.

The card is a component of the Concussion First Aid Kit and can be used by anybody over the age of 18 giving rapid results within 30 seconds.

I hope you will take a moment to explore this resource by going to the following website:

Liz Ward

About Liz Ward

As a performance analyst, making good use of kinesiology, biomechanics and video analysis as well as a soft tissue therapist, my preference is prehabilitation, but I am sorry to say that the majority of my time is spent with rehabilitation. Although I can put myself to most things, as a rugby coach I specialise in kicking these days and as a cricket coach, pace bowling; putting my Advanced Biomechanics, Speed and Accuracy Training to good use. I am also a certified personal trainer but no longer have time to get in to the gym, preferring to work on the techniques of Olympic Lifts in my clinic. I will be providing you with regular blogs focussed on common rugby injuries with treatment and prevention advice. I am also here to help you with any questions that you may have about rugby injury prevention or treatment. View all posts by Liz Ward

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