SNAPSHOT: Concussions

February 16, 2017

Jared Ginter

Director of Athletic Facilities

Trinity Western University


We now have risk management Best Practices data for over 100 schools across N. America.

In each Newsletter we’ll report a selection of our more interesting findings.

This issue: Concussions

In the Best Practices surveys, we asked if concussion protocols were in place for Intramurals and Sport Clubs   Participating universities told us: Read more

Limitations do not create exceptions – concussion education can be the answer

February 16, 2017

Lexi Chaput

Assistant Director – Club Sports

University of Michigan

Within every Campus Recreation department, different types of risks are managed differently based on the resources dedicated to the program, but with more and more discussion taking place about head injuries in sports participation, resource limitations are no longer a valid reason for a department saying they ‘can’t’ when it comes to response and management. Regardless of your size, structure, or resources, education is always a viable option, and can be a valid response when Risk Management calls and wants to know what you are doing to keep participants safe.

A Future of Uncertainty for Club Sports

For those whose Club Sports are insured by the University, it’s important to know that the future of that coverage has the potential to change dramatically, and could result in higher costs or added requirements. In a recent conversation with our Risk Management Office, they are anticipating changes to our liability coverage. While our insurance providers have so far not mentioned “no coverage” for head injuries sustained during activity, limitations on coverage could be implemented, especially surrounding timelines – specifically around when the injury was reported, and if the injury was the first of its kind sustained. Read more

Implementing a Concussion Protocol in Campus Recreation – with no AT’s involved

February 16, 2017

Jason J. Linsenmeyer, PhD

Oklahoma State University

Assistant Director of Recreation Programs

Recent reports from professional, collegiate, and high school sports regarding concussions are alarming. These reports and discussions held at conferences led the Rec Sports Program to begin conversations with their Health Services professionals on ways to help students at Oklahoma State University (OSU).

I did not know our Director of University Health Services (UHS) prior to the conversations about concussions.  I sent him a message with my concerns for students participating in intramural and sport clubs, and he indicated he shared my mind-set about protecting students, and if needed, helping them return to participate.

In an initial meeting, the Director of UHS and two of his doctors were present and we discussed the possibilities.  Everyone in this meeting agreed that there was a need, and that we should proceed in finding a way to help those students who exhibit signs of a concussion.  The director and his doctors went to work on this by reaching out to colleagues and others in the health services profession.  Initial drafts were formed for the concussion protocol and edits made along the way.  In my experience the staff at UHS has been more than willing to help and assist in implementing the protocol.  This model may work at your school if you have similar resources available. Read more

The Importance of Concussion Awareness and Education in the Campus Recreation setting

October 04, 2016

Lexi Chaput
Assistant Director – Club Sports
University of Michigan

Concussions continue to be in the forefront of sports news. In January 2016, a federal judge approved a settlement in a class-action suit against the NCAA that created new mandates for response to head injury. Whether it is fair and accurate or not, the comparison between Club Sports and NCAA athletics is frequently drawn. The Risk Management Department or University Legal is unlikely to understand the difference – their ultimate concern being the potential insurance claims and lawsuits that could result from an activity. Despite the fact that there is typically a significant difference in the amount of resources (both human and financial) provided to an NCAA team vs. a Club Sport’s team, the risk of injury does not change, hence the need for education and response to head injuries also does not change.

Read more

Accident Training and Response

December 16, 2015

Why my facility EAP should differ from yours
Maggie Cattell
Recreation and Aquatics Supervisor
City of Pinellas Park

It is an eventuality for every facility. An accident; someone doesn’t eat before getting on the treadmill; a child enters the water without a lifejacket; or a person played tennis in 110 degree weather for 4 hours without drinking water while wearing a sweatshirt, with a broken ankle, a day after heart surgery (pick your scenario – we’ve all been through it). For those of us that are experienced in facility and staff management, we often don’t bat-an-eye when we hear about these moments. We shake our head, grin a bit, and add another accident response to our professional tool belt. What we tend to overlook is the response of the staff and it’s reflection on the training that they have been through.

Most Campus Recreation facilities put a large amount of time, effort, and money into staff training at the beginning of every semester. Most of these trainings have the same underlying lessons of prevention and response. However, 3 months after training, ask the staff what they learned from the training and their stream of thought will go something like this “Compressions… breaths…. Ice-bag….. Pizza…. Squirrel”. A review of CPR studies revealed that 66% of students would not be able to pass the skills portion of a CPR class just 3 months after they sat through a class, led by an instructor (AED Challenge 2014). All that time, effort, and money lasts you until midterms if you are lucky. As professionals, we can become numb to the lovely nuances of our facility that cause our participants to forget to eat or leave their inhalers at home. For our staff however, anxiety about having to remember skills but also potentially endangering someone’s life can cause some staff members to flop when they should fly. So, what do we do? Read more

Emergency Preparation – good practices vs. overkill (Part 2)

October 18, 2015

Alison Epperson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Ed.
Murray State University

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series.

Staff training and expectations
How trained is your staff to respond in an emergency and then who do you protect? In a recreation setting what would you say to an employee if they just flatly refused to come to work because of a weather alert? Be it winter weather or tornados, you know at some point you’ll be faced with “It’s not safe for me to come in, so I’m not…” Do you have a policy ready for that? If you don’t, think about this situation for a minute.
In February of 2009, we had a massive ice storm that literally shut us down. We had NOTHING – we had totally taken for granted how critical power is; it provides the heat for our living spaces, warms our water, keeps our food at the proper temperature, allows the gas stations to pump gas, allows us to get money out of the ATM, and provides us basic communication. We had no TV, no internet and no cell phone service. I’ve never felt so prehistoric in all my life and I grew up before Internet, remote controls, good cable and cell phones!
Read more

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