The federal government in partnership with Parachute Canada, a national injury prevention organization, have developed a new set of guidelines they hope will create the foundation for a more consistent approach to dealing with concussions in athletes.
Released on Friday, the Canadian Guideline on Concussion in Sport uses the latest scientific evidence to help guide decisions on diagnosing, managing and treating concussions. This announcement comes at the urging of both the sporting and medical communities who have long called for a more standardized approach.
Parachute's Expert Advisory Committee on Concussion, comprised of experts in concussion prevention, treatment and research, worked to develop the new protocol to support timely and effective care for athletes with a suspected concussion. SportMedBC co-founder, Dr. Jack Taunton, stood as an advisor on the committee.
The new guideline, which is aimed at coaches, teachers, parents, medical professionals and anyone who interacts with athletes at various levels addresses seven key areas including: pre-season education, head injury recognition, on site medical assessment, medical assessment, concussion management, multidisciplinary concussion care and return to sport.
In a written statement, Health Canada called it “an essential first step in Canada’s approach to managing concussions,” but insists more work needs to be done.
Funded by the Government of Canada, this new guideline forms part of the Concussion Protocol Harmonization Project. Parachute Canada will also be releasing "Return-to-Learn" and "Return-to-Play" concussion protocols to ensure that young athletes can safely return to the classroom and to sport, physical activity and recreation following a concussion.
A full version of the new guidelines can be downloaded for free from the Parachute Canada website.