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AMSSM Releases Position Statement on Sports Concussion: Recommends Comprehensive, Individualized Approach to Diagnosis and Management


LEAWOOD, KAN – December 13, 2012 – The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine releases its latest position statement, “Concussion in Sport,” which recommends healthcare professionals apply a more individualized approach in the diagnosis and care management of sports concussion, a traumatic head injury with a reported 3.8 million occurrences per year. This is because the severity of injury and the individual’s risk factors vary from athlete to athlete.

Kimberly Harmon, MD, lead author, Associate Head Team Physician for the University of Washington and former AMSSM president, said there are a variety of tests physicians use to evaluate athletes with sports concussion; however, one of the most valuable factors is the physician’s close knowledge of the individual athlete. Harmon said, “It’s important that whoever works most regularly with the athlete reviews his or her treatment against the athlete’s history, behavior and risk factors to understand the best person-centered care plan.” Furthermore, the statement analyzes the following regarding sports concussion:

• Pathophysiology

• Incidence

• Risk Factors

• Diagnosis

• Sideline Evaluation and Management

• Neuropsychological Testing

• Return to Class

• Return to Play

• Short-Term Risks of Premature Return to Play

• Long-Term Effects

• Disqualification from Sport

• Education

• Prevention

• Legislation

• Future Directions

Written by a team of 10 experts in the diagnosis and treatment of concussion, many of whom are team physicians, the statement was intended for sports medicine physicians who are specially trained to provide sports concussion care from the acute injury to return-to play. The AMSSM is also hopeful that this information can support other healthcare professionals as they care for patients with concussions.

Jonathan Drezner, MD, contributing author, Team Physician for the University of Washington and the Seattle Seahawks and current president of the AMSSM Board of Directors, stated, “There is increased awareness and visibility for sports-related concussion in athletes of all ages. This statement provides a scientific framework for the evaluation and management of concussion. Sports medicine physicians are uniquely positioned to help patients, parents, and coaches understand and achieve a safe return to play.”

To view the position statement, visit: http://www.amssm.org/Content/pdf%20files/2012_ConcussionPositionStmt.pdf 

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is a multi-disciplinary organization of physicians whose members are dedicated to education, research, collaboration and fellowship within the field of sports medicine. Founded in 1991, the AMSSM is now comprised of more than 2,100 sports medicine physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting. Visit amssm.org to learn more.

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