As this course has previously emphasized, there must be no same-day Return to Play for an athlete diagnosed with a concussion or an athlete suspected of having a concussion who has not been evaluated by health care professionals. No matter what, once an athlete has returned to baseline, he or she must undertake a multistep progression.
Start the Return to Play Progression with a letter clearing the patient to proceed. Others on the care team may monitor. No matter who is involved, the patient has to progress. If symptoms reoccur or don’t clear up, the injured child has to return to see a licensed health care professional. It’s a clinical preference how often the patient should return to the office for reassessment. Many providers only want to hear back if the symptoms persist or other problems occur.
When the patient has completed the monitored Return to Play Progression, the patient can be given approval for full contact play by a licensed health care professional. In cases where logistics make multiple trips unfeasible, some licensed health care professionals collaborate with the school professionals to provide the needed assessments and documentation.
Even with appropriate behavioral management, some students continue to experience significant symptoms after the two-week mark. Module 6
of this course will address complex concussion management in depth. At that point, your management team may expand beyond the initial group (you, the patient, the family, and the school staff) to include other licensed health care professionals who bring special expertise to the case.