“Sport-related concussion [SRC] is a traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces.” Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Berlin, 2016
  • “SRC may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head.
  • SRC typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, signs and symptoms evolve over a number of minutes to hours.
  • SRC may result in neuropathological changes, but the acute clinical signs and symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury and, as such, no abnormality is seen on standard structural neuroimaging studies.
  • SRC results in a range of clinical signs and symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive features typically follows a sequential course. However, in some cases symptoms may be prolonged.”

– Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Berlin, 2016

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Brain Injury Australia has been engaged in concussion education since it prepared a policy paper on concussion in sport for the Australian Government’s (then) Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in 2012.

Since then, it has delivered a range of concussion education and training events for sports physicians, General Practitioners, physiotherapists, trainers, coaches and sports administrators, parents and players built around Brain Injury Australia’s “5Rs” of concussion – “Recognise the injury, Removal from play, Referral to a doctor, Rest and then Return to play.”

Policy Paper: Concussion in Sport

  • “Brain Injury Australia recommends that the Australian Football League, the Australian Rugby League Commission, and Australian Rugby Union co-fund an independent, large-scale, prospective study – comprising cohorts from all three sports – examining the risk factors for as well as the incidence, assessment, short and long-term effects, management and potential prevention of concussion in child and adolescent players.”


Brain Injury Australia’s Concussion Training Day – 7th November, 2016, Royal Rehab, Sydney

A day-long training in best practice concussion assessment, treatment and management, led by Professor Barry Willer, Director of Research in the Concussion Management Clinic at the University at Buffalo in Western New York and, Professor Gary Browne, Director of the Sports Concussion Service at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney.

Professors Willer and Browne had just returned from the 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport, in Berlin, at the end of October, and presented to attendees on major changes to the Concussion in Sports Group Consensus Statement.

They were joined by Dr Julia Treleaven, from the Whiplash and Neck Pain Research Unit, the University of Queensland.

From left: Professor Barry Willer, Professor Gary Browne, Dr Julia Treleaven.

Read more.

BIA Executive Officer’s Introduction to Concussion Training Day – 7th November, 2016

“…80 to 90 per cent [of concussions] result in an uneventful recovery within 10-14 days of injury. The 10 to 20 percent of eventful recoveries notwithstanding, perception is everything. And today’s typical parent will be swiftly unforgiving of any sport as soon as she, or he, suspects it’s playing chicken with their child’s brain.”BIA Executive Officer, Nick Rushworth
Download Nick’s Introduction.

Concussion Training Day – Preparatory Readings

Australian Concussion in Sport Resources
Concussion in Sport Guidelines and Position Statements

Australian Concussion in Sport Resources

Brain Injury Australia/Sports Medicine Australia Concussion Education Video (2016)

The video below is the first output of a joint concussion education initiative between Brain Injury Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, built around Brain Injury Australia’s trademarked “5Rs” of concussion – “Recognise the injury, Removal from play, Referral to a doctor, Rest and then Return to play” – and presented by Dr. Michael Makdissi, a member of the international authority – the “Concussion in Sport Group” – and team doctor for the Australian Football League 2013, 2014, and 2015 premiership-winning Hawthorn Football Club.

While the video is aimed at Australia’s General Practitioners, Brain Injury Australia is sure that coaches, trainers, sports administrators, and parents, will find the video relevant to best-practice concussion assessment and management.

You also watch this video on Brain Injury Australia’s YouTube channel, here.

For more information about Brain Injury Australia’s work in concussion education and awareness, please visit BIA.

BIA’s presentation to the 12th New South Wales Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program Forum (2014)

  • “Hundreds of children have been treated for sports-related head injuries at the Royal Children’s Hospital in the past six months and many are returning to the field after a concussion, contrary to guidelines…”


Queensland Brain Institute’s Concussion Education and Research Campaign

The Queensland Brain Institute, with the Australian Athletes’ Alliance – the peak body for Australia’s 3,500 elite professional athletes, comprising: the Australian Cricketers’ Association; the Australian Football League Players’ Association; the Australian Jockeys’ Association; the Australian Netball Players’ Association; the Australian Basketballers’ Association; Professional Footballers Australia; the Rugby League Players Association; and the Rugby Union Players’ Association – has launched a concussion education and research campaign, which “doesn’t want to change Aussie sport, just make players safer. Research is the key to solving concussion’s unanswered questions.”

Brain Injury Australia’s Executive Officer, Nick Rushworth, has been appointed an “Ambassador” for the campaign.


Concussion in Sport Guidelines and Position Statements

Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Medical Association Concussion in Sport Position Statement (2016)

Sports Medicine Australia Position Statement: Concussion (2015)

  • “The primary purpose of this document is to provide an evidence-based, best practice summary to assist Sports Medicine Australia members and others (coaches, parents, officials, administrators etc.) to recognise and manage sport-related concussion.”


International Conference on Concussion in Sport (2001-2016)

The Concussion in Sports Group has hosted five international Consensus Conferences since 2001. Each consensus conference has published a Concussion in Sport Consensus Statement summarising the findings of the group. These Consensus Statements have guided health care professionals and others to better manage sports-related concussion.

Concussion in Sport Position Statement (2016) – American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

  • “Additional research is needed to validate current assessment tools, delineate the role of neuropsychological testing and improve identification of those at risk of prolonged post-concussive symptoms or other long-term complications.”


Concussion Guidelines for the Education Sector (2016) – Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (UK)

  • “All concussions must be taken seriously to safeguard the health and welfare of children and young people. Failing to do so can have serious consequences including, in extremely rare cases, death. These guidelines are designed for professionals working in the education sector and, while they are aimed at school-aged children, can also be applied to over 18s in the absence of other advice.”


Evaluation and Management of Concussion in Sports (2013) – American Academy of Neurology

  • Read the Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology – Summary of Evidence-based Guideline Update: Evaluation and Management of concussion in Sports.


Guidelines for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion (2014) – The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (Canada)

  • “This document is intended to guide healthcare professionals in diagnosing and managing pediatric—not adult—concussion. It is not for self-diagnosis or treatment. Parents and/or caregivers may bring it to the attention of their child/adolescent’s health care professionals.”


Guidelines for Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury & Persistent Symptoms: Second Edition (2013) – The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (Canada)

  • “These guidelines were developed to enable healthcare practitioners to effectively diagnose and manage concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in adults (over the age of 18) and treat symptoms that persist over time.”


The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation is “the leader in moving research to evidence-informed practices that can prevent neurotrauma, and in improving the quality of life and health outcomes for those living with neurotrauma.”


Sports Concussion Assessment

Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) 5

“This paper presents the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5th Edition (SCAT5), which is the most recent revision of a sport concussion evaluation tool for use by healthcare professionals in the acute evaluation of suspected concussion. The revision of the SCAT3 (first published in 2013) culminated in the SCAT5. The SCAT5 is intended for use in those who are 13 years of age or older.”

Read the study abstract.

The Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5th Edition (Child SCAT5)

“This article presents the Child Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5th Edition (Child SCAT5). Following the 4th International Consensus Conference, held in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2012, the SCAT 3rd edition (Child SCAT3) was developed for children aged between 5 and12 years. Research to date was reviewed and synthesised for the 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport in Berlin, Germany, leading to the current revision of the test, the Child SCAT5.”

Read the study abstract.

Sports Concussion Programmes

Sports Concussion Australasia Headsmart Sports Concussion Programme

  • “The HeadSmart™ Sports Concussion Programme provides an end-to-end sports concussion solution for grassroots schools and clubs to the same standard as professional teams. Children and weekend warriors’ brains are no less important than high-earning athletes.”
    Visit website.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HEADS UP to Youth Sports (US)

  • “Keeping children and teens healthy and safe is always a top priority. Whether you are a parent, youth sports coach, school coach, school professional, or health care provider, this site will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury.”
    Visit website.

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