Pediatric concussions in sports; a simple and rapid assessment tool for concussive injury in children and adults

Childs Nerv Syst. 2007 Apr;23(4):431-5. doi: 10.1007/s00381-006-0277-2. Epub 2007 Jan 12.


Background: We established a routine protocol for concussion evaluation in athletes for nonmedical personnel. The evaluation, management guidelines, and return-to-play recommendations were summarized with a memorable mnemonic on a convenient handheld card.

Materials and methods: The ability to remember the return-to-play mnemonic and effectively apply it to corresponding guidelines was evaluated in 194 sports personnel without medical training. The participants were given three clinical scenarios, each including age, pertinent history, sporting event, description of an injury, symptoms, signs, and a brief neurological exam. Subsequently, the subject's ability to recall the return-to-play mnemonic and the Standard Assessment of Concussion, to describe the corresponding guidelines, and to advise return-to-play was evaluated.

Conclusion: Our "return-to-play" mnemonic was found to be simple and memorable, allowing for a high recall percentage and accurate evaluation of concussion cases. High intersubject agreement suggests that this method has both standardization and generalization potential.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology*
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Examination
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index