Background: With the national spotlight on concussions sustained in contact sports, this Countywide Concussion Program addresses the unique challenges presented to public and private high schools in order to increase concussion awareness, identification, and management.
Methods: The Miami Concussion Model (MCM) was developed with a standard protocol that includes; formation of a task force of stakeholders, concussion education and training to coaches, athletic trainers, and athletes; baseline ImPACT™ testing, the facilitation of ‘return to play’ decisions with effective medical treatment, and the development and implementation of a concussion injury surveillance system.
Results: The program has been successfully implemented in about 40 high schools in Miami-Dade County (MDC) over the last two years. The MCM provided baseline testing for 18,357 student-athletes, trained over 100 coaches and 40 athletic trainers, and most recently provided concussion education to high school football athletes. Since 2011, the concussion clinic has treated a total of 216 high school athletes and the surveillance system tracked 198 student athletes.
Conclusion: The MCM aims to assist in the prevention of concussions, improve player safety limiting school liability by providing a countywide concussion management program. The program is funded primarily by private donations and the support of multiple stakeholders. With about 48 States passing concussion legislation, the MCM can be used as a model for other counties to address the need for a concussion management program.
Applications in Sport: Schools with athletic programs need to implement a system to correctly manage and prevent concussive injuries both to protect their athletes and to minimize liability. The development of the MCM and protocol with the support of the leadership of the School Board allows for high schools to take a proactive approach in improving concussion management for their athletes.
- The Miami Concussion Model (MCM) is implemented in 40 high schools in Miami-Dade County.
- MCM includes baseline testing for 18,357 athletes and trained 100 coaches and 40 athletic trainers.
- Sideline assessments used to verify a suspected concussion: King-Devick Test and Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2).
- The Model includes Education, Execution, and Evaluation, which was shown to be successful in this large-scale pilot study.
- The MCM standard protocol effectively increased the number of identified concussions.
- The MCM may be used as a model for other counties to implement a successful concussion management program.