Salisbury School and Concussion Management
Salisbury School seeks to provide a safe return to activity for all athletes after injury, particularly after a concussion. In order to effectively and consistently manage these injuries, procedures have been developed to aid in insuring that concussed athletes are identified, treated, and fully recovered prior to returning to sports. Additionally, our policy seeks to provide academic support for students as they recover from their injuries.
All Salisbury School students are required to complete a baseline neurocognitive test prior to participation in athletics. Salisbury School utilizes a program called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), a research-based software tool utilized to objectively evaluate the injured student and track recovery for a safe return-to-play. ImPACT evaluates multiple aspects of neurocognitive function, including memory, attention, brain processing speed, reaction time, and post-concussion symptoms.
The athletic trainers and the health center staff work collaboratively in evaluating, diagnosing, and managing concussions. Most concussions can be managed on campus. Students who remain stable and whose symptoms improve will be managed at School and discharged back to their dorm rooms when deemed appropriate by the trainers or health center staff. However, any student who suffers a loss of consciousness, exhibits deteriorating neurologic function, or has an associated injury will be transported to the nearest emergency room. Referrals to the hospital or concussion specialists are at the discretion of the medical staff, but may also be initiated by the student or family. While the opinion of the outside provider is considered, the ultimate decision regarding clearance for academics and athletics is made after consultation among the Salisbury School medical staff and athletic trainers.
Once a diagnosis of concussion is made, the student’s parent, advisor, teachers, and dean are notified and periodic updates regarding the student’s progress are provided. A referral to the Rudd Learning Center is also initiated, in order to provide additional academic support.
Students are expected to follow up with the health center staff on a daily basis. At each visit, students are placed in one of four academic/athletic stages, depending on their symptoms. Academic responsibilities are increased as students’ symptoms improve.
Students are restricted from sports until cleared by the Salisbury School health center or athletic training staff. Students must be asymptomatic and within normal range of baseline on post-concussion ImPACT testing in order to begin return-to-play. Students will be progressed to full activity following a stepwise approach, under the supervision of the athletic trainers. Progression through the steps is individualized and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Please feel free to contact the health center at 860-435-5748 or the athletic trainers at 860-435-5891 with any questions.
For more information on concussions, please visit the CDC’s Concussion page at http://www.cdc.gov/Concussion/