An introduction to headsafe

Ideally this group of doctors will be the ones called upon to make decisions regarding concussion in sport weather whilst attending a team on the sideline or assisting patients through the process of monitoring a concussive injury, investigating it appropriately and guiding the patient through a stepwise return to play process.

Sideline assessment tools for the evaluation of Concussion in Athletes: A Review.

“The presence of a trained concussion specialist on the sidelines is critical to the implementation of early assessment and effective triage and management of athletes immediately after concussion.

Further, a dedicated sidelines specialist provides continuity of care leading to appropriate and educated management of concussed athletes in the subacute to long-term recovery process. This allows for improved accuracy with respect to return-to-play guidelines.”


David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Zachary J. Tempel, MD

Joseph Maroon, MD

Course Objectives

The objectives of this course include a review of the current knowledge with regard to concussion, an understanding of the role and tools available to the doctor on the sideline and the office, as well as the application of neurocognitive assessment, specialist imaging techniques and the current consensus on appropriate return to play protocols following a concussion.

Concussion is a common injury in many sports and recreational activities. Sports like Australian football, rugby league and rugby union have amongst the highest rates of head injury of any team sports in the world with reported incidence of concussion ranging from about 3–10 concussive injuries per 1000 player hours or about five concussion injuries per team per season, regardless of the level of competition. In sports with similar playing rules, the reported incidence of concussion is higher among females than males. There is no routine monitoring or reporting of sport-related concussion in Australia and the incidence of sport-related concussion in Australia, especially at the population level, is unknown.

  • Review the features and epidemiology of sport-related concussion
  • Understand the definition of sport-related concussion
  • Understand Baseline Cognitive Testing
  • Understand sideline medical role and tools
  • Determine appropriate in-office evaluation
  • Review current treatment options
  • Analyse the role of neurocognitive assessment and investigative radiology for concussion
  • Know when to refer to ER or specialists
  • Implement appropriate return to play (RTP) protocols following a concussion
  • Focus on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

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