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    April 2019

    Concussion Awareness and Management Resources

    Higher education institutions and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have been the focus of 200 recent class action lawsuits filed by former college football players alleging that they suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during their college years. The lawsuits allege that mistreatment of TBIs led to the athletes suffering serious medical problems.

    While the lawsuits relate to alleged institution practices decades ago, they highlight the need to augment risk management practices as medical knowledge and risk management thinking progress. United Educators (UE) supports educational institutions’ desire to improve player safety and prevent future injuries through continual improvement.


    Increase Awareness

    Many educational institutions have already increased training and education for athletic department staff and athletes. Bringing increased awareness to concussion symptoms, long-term TBI risks, and appropriate institutional practices is an important first step.  


    Establish Protocols

    Education of players and staff must be paired with comprehensive concussion protocols to properly protect student athletes. Indeed, the recent lawsuits allege that the player injuries were the result of insufficient or nonexistent concussion protocols. UE’s Checklist for Creating an Athletics Concussion Management Plan offers current guidance for establishing concussion management and return-to-play protocols. 

    It is equally important that institutions have return-to-learn protocols, since prematurely returning to study can negatively impact recovery. The NCAA has issued Concussion Diagnosis and Management Best Practices for concussion management plans, return to activity, return to academics, and return to play. 


    Additional Resources

    Finally, for schools looking for additional information about concussions and brain injury safety, the Centers for Disease Control have compiled traumatic brain injury and concussion statistics and resources, which are periodically updated. 

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