NFL Announces New Sideline Protocol
Lewis HoweFeb 25- NFL teams now have a standardized sideline concussion protocol developed by the NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Medical Committee, which if approved, will become league policy perhaps as early as next season. Designed to be given within 6-8 minutes after a suspected concussion, it tests concentration, balance, and thinking skills. Players take the test at the beginning of the season to determine a "baseline" and then again after a suspected injury. Results of the two are compared and if there is a significant decrease in performance, the player will not be allowed to return to the game. Specific details have not been released.
In a survey of team medical personnel conducted this past November, a subcommittee found that there was no uniform method by which players were being evaluated on the sideline. The protocol was developed based upon the 2008 Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport developed by an international panel of experts, including several SportsConcussions.org advisors.