Returning to Play After a Head Injury During a Sporting Event

Topic Overview

The American Academy of Neurology recommends the following guidelines for returning to play after a concussion sustained during a sporting event. The guidelines assume that the player has been evaluated by a doctor both right after the injury and again before returning to play. They are not intended to be used by the coaching staff.

When to return to play after a concussion during a sporting event
Grade of concussion Number of concussions Time until return to play

Grade 1

1

Same day

2 or more

1 week

Grade 2

1

1 week

2 or more

2 weeks

Grade 3

1 brief (seconds)

1 week

1 prolonged (minutes)

2 weeks

More than 1

4 weeks or longer, based on decision of doctor

For more information, see the American Academy of Neurology Web site at www.thebrainmatters.org or the Brain Injury Association Web site at www.biausa.org.

Credits

Author Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Updated July 9, 2008

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