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Six takeaways from A Concussion Story – Lessons for Concussion Management

In recognition of Concussion Awareness Day, the Government of Saskatchewan, Sask Sport and the Sport Medicine & Science Council of Saskatchewan offered a one-hour webinar: A Concussion Story – Lessons for Concussion Management.

Moderated by Rhonda Shishkin (Sport Physiotherapist and Certified Athletic Therapist for Craven SPORT Services and Canada Basketball), the webinar featured athlete and coach Katie Miyazaki as she shared her experience with concussions and the aftermath.

The pair were joined by panelists Dr. Martin Heroux (Head Physician of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Cougar Athletics and Team Physician for the Regina Pats), Patrick Neary, PhD (Professor and Researcher with the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies at the University of Regina) and Lisa Swallow (Certified Athletic Therapist with the Edmonton Elks) who leant their expertise and knowledge while discussing concussions.

Here are six takeaways.

1 – Remember the 4 R’s

Recognize the symptoms of a concussion.
Remove the athlete from play or the activity.
Refer athletes to a medical professional for assessment.
Return to sport/activity only if and when the athlete has been cleared.

2 – Utilize the Concussion Recognition Tool 5 (CRT5) guide

The CRT5 is a one-page document that helps identify concussions in children, adolescents and adults through a four-step process. Coaches and activity leaders should keep the CRT5 on their clipboard or in another place for quick and easy reference.

3 – Check out the Concussion Guides

Parachute provides a concussion guide for athletes, coaches and trainers, parents and caregivers, as well as teachers and should be used as reference of what signs and symptoms to monitor if a concussion is expected.

4 – Receive a Medical Assessment Letter

If an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, they should be referred to a medical professional. At that appointment, the athlete should receive a Medical Assessment Letter, filled out by the medical professional, with details of their assessment that can be provided to coaches, teachers, etc.

5 – Reference the Return to School and Return to Sport Strategies

Athletes can have challenges in many aspects of their lives when they get a concussion, including in school as well as sport. The Return to School and Return to Sport strategies provide steps to help guide the athlete in their return to those activities.

6 – Get a Medical Clearance Letter

When an athlete has seen a medical professional and has been deemed fit to return to all or some of their previous activities or sports, they should receive a Medical Clearance Letter.

Other concussion resources: