“If in doubt, sit them out” – updated recommendations on concussion

Parents, coaches, athletes, and anyone involved in sport now have access to the most up-to-date, trustworthy recommendations on how to diagnose and treat concussion, following today’s launch of the Concussion in Sport Australia Position Statement.

The AMA has partnered with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP), and Sports Medicine Australia to establish Concussion in Sport Australia to increase awareness of the signs and dangers of concussion.

“Sports-related concussion can affect athletes at all levels, all ages, and across a wide range of sports,” AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said.

“Concussion can be hard to recognise. It is not always a result of a direct hit to the head – any hit to the body that transmits a force to the head can result in concussion – and symptoms may take hours or even days to develop.

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“We don’t want to stop people participating in sport. Physical activity is crucial for all of us, not just for our health, but for social engagement.

“However, it is important that athletes, coaches, parents, teachers, and doctors understand some fundamental information about identifying and managing sport-related concussion.

“We can’t negate all the potential complications that may arise from a concussion, but with prompt identification, medical assessment, and management, we can minimise the risk of those complications.

“This is even more critical when we are dealing with the developing brain in children and adolescents.

“Our message to anyone who suspects a child or teenager has been concussed in sport is clear – if in doubt, sit them out.”

The Concussion in Sport Australia Position Statement is at https://ama.com.au/position-statement/concussion-in-sport-2019

A range of videos, fact sheets, online training, and other practical resources relating to concussion in sport can be found at https://www.concussioninsport.gov.au

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