Concussion Definition 

According to the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport: the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Sport, Berlin 2016:

Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a traumatic brain injury induced by biomechanical forces.”

  • This means that concussion is a brain injury that affects how the brain functions.  Athletes may display symptoms that are physical (e.g. headache, dizziness), cognitive (e.g. problems with memory or concentration), emotional/behavioural (e.g. anxiety, irritability), and/or related to sleep/energy (e.g. fatigue, difficulty sleeping).
  • SRC typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously. However, in some cases, signs and symptoms evolve over a number of minutes to hours.
  • SRC may result in neuropathological changes, but the acute clinical signs and symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury and, as such, no abnormality is seen on standard structural neuroimaging studies.
  • SRC results in a range of clinical signs and symptoms that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical and cognitive features typically follows a sequential course. However, in some cases symptoms may be prolonged.
    • The clinical signs and symptoms cannot be explained by drug, alcohol, or medication use, other injuries (such as cervical injuries, peripheral vestibular dysfunction, etc), or other comorbidities (eg, psychological factors or coexisting medical conditions).

Concussion Causes 

  • SRC may be caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with an impulsive force transmitted to the head.  It is recommended that athletes who receive this type of contact should be monitored for a suspected concussion.

Suspected Concussion 

  • SRC is suspected when it is recognized that an individual appears to have either experienced an injury or impact that may result in concussion, and is exhibiting unusual behavior (signs and symptoms) that may be the result of a concussion.

Concussion Diagnosis 

  • SRC is diagnosed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.  Ideally this professional will have specific training and experience in the assessment and management of concussions.

SMSCS Position on Concussions 

  • The Sports Medicine and Science Council of Saskatchewan (SMSCS) recognizes that concussion in sport is a public health issue that requires a multi-sectoral approach. 
  • Many organizations involved in sport, including the SMSCS, are working to reduce the incidence of concussions and improve concussion outcomes for athletes and sport participants. 
  • The SMSCS supports the Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport (Consensus Statement) as the recognized international guideline for concussion management.  The Consensus Statement affirms that all athletes should be managed using the same treatment and return to play paradigms.  It identifies education as a mainstay to concussion management and states all athletes, administrators, referees, parents, coaches and health care professionals must be educated on detection, clinical features, assessment techniques and principles of safe return to learn and play.
  • The SMSCS supports the most recent Consensus Statement on the use of widespread baseline neuropsychological testing.  At present, there is insufficient evidence to recommend the widespread routine use of baseline neuropsychological testing.
  • Most recently, the Canadian Concussion Collaborative (CCC), a group of health-related organisations concerned with the recognition, treatment and management of concussion, made a recommendation for policy development regarding sport related concussion prevention and management in Canada.
  • The SMSCS supports their recommendation that organizations responsible for operating, regulating or planning sport and sporting events with a risk of concussion should be required to develop or adapt and implement a concussion management protocol.
  • This protocol must be based on current best practices but can be customised for their context and available resources.
  • The SMSCS has developed a “CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PLANNING TOOL” (CMPT) to assist sport organizations to develop and implement a concussion management protocol based on current best practice informed by research evidence and knowledge.

For further information and how to develop your CMPT contact:
Sport Medicine & Science Council of Saskatchewan Inc.
2205 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK S4P 0S4
Toll Free: 1-888-350-5558
Phone: 306-780-9446
Fax: 306-780-9416

The content and resources contained in this site is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for appropriate medical advice or care. If you believe that you or someone under your care has sustained a concussion we strongly recommend that you contact a qualified health professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The collaborators have made responsible efforts to include accurate and timely information. However the individuals and organizations listed on this website make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy of the information contained and specifically disclaim any liability in connection with the content on this site.