A new international consensus statement on the recognition and treatment of concussion, updated to reflect the latest scientific evidence, was published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The statement, named the “International Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport,” was written to assist doctors and health professionals in the care of athletes of all levels, including adults and children, who may have suffered a concussion. It also includes a tool with specific information for the general public and a specific tool for use in children under the age of 12.

Its authors include noted concussion and head injury experts from around the world. New findings, noted in the consensus statement, include a new definition of concussion, new guidance on rest versus activity, and a new collaborative approach to treatment.

“The new tools created from this consensus are designed to assist parents, coaches, officials and players to identify athletes with a potential concussion and remove the athlete from further risk of injury,” says co-author Carolyn Emery, PhD, physiotherapist and professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, in a media release from University of Calgary.

“The overriding theme presented in this document is: ‘recognize and remove.’ In other words, when concussion is suspected, the athlete should be removed from the sporting environment and a comprehensive assessment should be conducted in a standardized way. If a concussion is diagnosed, they should not return to sport the same day,” adds Willem Meeuwisse, MD, a sport medicine physician and epidemiologist.

Meeuwisse co-chaired the 5th International Consensus Conference, which took place in Berlin in October 2016. During the conference, more than 400 academics from 24 countries participated. The new consensus statement resulted from the conference, and it updates the concussion assessment tools in light of new evidence, per the release.

“One of the amazing things about this document is that it is a collaborative achievement by many people across the globe with different areas of expertise in sport-related concussion who have collaborated to come up with a unified answer to key questions in concussion,” states co-author Kathryn Schneider, PhD, physiotherapist and assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, in the release.

Emery and Schneider both played key roles at the conference, each leading one of the 12 key topic areas and systematic reviews addressed at the meeting on treatment and prevention, respectively, the release states.

[Source(s): University of Calgary, UW Medicine, Science Daily, PR Newswire]