When Michigan’s concussion bill was passed this fall, it was a great day for Michigan; for young athletes, their coaches and parents; and for C.S. Mott Injury Prevention Program Manager Amy Teddy.
The new law requires the Michigan Department of Community Health to develop educational materials and training about concussion-related injuries and treatments for athletes, parents and coaches. It also requires coaches to immediately remove athletes suspected of having concussions from play and let them return only after getting a health professional’s written approval.
Where concussion education is concerned, U-M is already ahead of the game, thanks in no small part to Teddy’s efforts.
Michigan NeuroSport’s concussion education website, which Teddy developed, contains free education modules for parents as well as youth and high school coaches. Coaches can receive a certificate of completion if they successfully answer the quiz at the end of the module. A student athlete edition is coming soon. The information is endorsed by the American Academy of Neurology.
Teddy has also been involved in Michigan High School Athletic Association’s decision to have its required online rules meetings for coaches and officials include Michigan NeuroSport’s education module. The module illustrates the serious nature of concussions; recognition of the signs and symptoms; and a review of return to play protocols.
Further using technology—and supported by a Fostering Innovation Grant (FIGS)—in partnership with NeuroSport, Teddy developed a 99-cent iPhone app called Return 2 Play, which can help athletes through concussion recovery. An Android version of the app will soon be available in 2013 thanks to a second FIGS grant.
“Return2Play helps concussion patients track their activities and symptoms, and share that information with their health care team,” Teddy says. The app is a complement to the online materials and was developed by the same vendor, TorranceLearning of Chelsea, Mich.
Under the direction of a physician, the patient—or a parent or coach—can enter activities, symptoms and their severity, notes, and appointment dates to the app. Return2Play allows users to email a recovery progress history in chronological order to a physician, trainer or coach.
Teddy emphasizes that the app is not a tool for recognizing concussion.
A member of the Mott team for the past five years, she remarks that her work in concussion injury was spurred by one patient in particular.
“Spencer inspired me to continue to do more about concussion. He suffered for months, and it was so preventable. His story really highlights the importance of educating those on the front line of youth athletics.”
Teddy invites everyone to download Return2Play, check it out, and post an opinion.
“We’d love to know what’s missing, what’s clunky, what could work better. Anyone who has had some experience with apps could give us the benefit of their knowledge.”
It will cost 99 cents, but to improve concussion recovery education for young athletes, the benefits are priceless.
To read more about Return2Play, visit http://umhsheadlines.org/24/tracking-concussion-recovery-is-as-easy-as-picking-up-your-phone-with-new-app-from-u-m/